The West Indies cricket team is looking to play its part in maintaining regional pride after the success of Caribbean nations at the recent World Athletics Championships, Commonwealth Games, and World Under-20 Athletics Championships.
West Indies are set to begin a three-match Twenty20 (T20) series against New Zealand at Sabina Park in Jamaica, having recently been brushed aside 1-4 by world number one India in the Caribbean and Florida. Before that, West Indies beat Bangladesh 2-0 in the three-match T20 series.
"I think the whole Caribbean is on a high, so we are trying to make sure people around the world are on a high. And we are trying to do that again," West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons.
Players Brandon King and Rovman Powell, both Jamaicans, are eager to flourish on home soil.
"It's great timing, to be honest, and I am very happy to be able to have the opportunity to play a game at home for West Indies," King said in reference to Jamaica's 60th year of Independence celebrated on August 6.
"This is one of my dreams and obviously it coincides with our Independence, so I am very excited for that and hopefully the Jamaican people will come out and support us," the 27-year-old batsman added.
Powell, the Windies vice-captain, said the team is focused on winning.
"I think what is always a mantra of West Indian teams is just trying to bring smiles back on people's face. We know… [of] the glory days of West Indies cricket and I think the guys are working hard on doing that. I think over the last few series we have put smiles on people's face and we will try our best to continue going down that path," Powell said.
Simmons said the team will have to quickly correct its wrongs against the New Zealanders.
"We try to concentrate on the things we haven't done right. If we can get [those things] right then we will be in a position to win more games than we lose.
"New Zealand is a formidable team, but no disrespect to them, India is the number one T20 team in the world. They [New Zealand] are not far behind, so we are going to have good competition and we hope to put things in place properly," the head coach told members of the media.
— Sanjay Myers