Almost there: Sammy closer to selecting T20 World Cup squad; expresses satisfaction with strategic build up to tournament

By Sports Desk April 09, 2024
SAMMY...The system that we’ve implemented is just geared towards winning the World Cup. SAMMY...The system that we’ve implemented is just geared towards winning the World Cup. File

With the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup now less than two months away, West Indies Head coach, Daren Sammy says he has just about settled on his squad for the global showpiece, which will be jointly hosted in the Caribbean and United States.

Sammy, who captained the West Indies in T20 titles in 2012 and 2016, is aiming to cop his first title as a coach and, by extension, lead the regional side to a third crown. As such, he pointed to three Ps –personnel, preparation and purpose –which has guided his decision-making where selecting players is concerned.

“We’ve selected squads and exposed about 22 players over the last year in preparation for this main event that is coming, and fine-tuning and giving clear guidance as to what roles are required in the different positions, to help us to be successful,” Sammy told journalists during a press briefing on Monday.

“So you would’ve seen … different guys getting different opportunities over a consistent period of time in different roles, and it has brought us down to probably the final 15, 16, 20 players, and it’s about fine-tuning now. I’m probably quite sure as to what my World Cup team will be. It’s based on the measures that we’ve taken and the strategic roles we have given players,” he added.

Sammy expressed satisfaction with the entire thought process that goes into their preparation to ensure that players’ mindset and performances align with their objectives. He also welcomed the fact that the core group of players are already showing a heightened sense of belief, which he believes is vital to their charge.

“Where before 2023 we were averaging six or so runs per over between overs number seven to 15 whereas international teams were going at seven, close to eight, we have now changed that to seven. Still, we need improvement but the small measures that we’re taking and the preciseness with which we’re working has enabled us to take little strides,” Sammy noted.

“Where our team is really strong is in the engine room. What I call the engine room is from number four to seven, where you have your all-rounders coming in and keeping on the pressure. I’m quite happy with where we are as a T20 team as we’re building towards the main event. I see a group of men that believe that they can win,” he declared.

Sammy’s side, to be led by Jamaican Rovman Powell, will contest Group C alongside New Zealand, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea and Uganda in the preliminary stage of the June 1-29 tournament.

Their group campaign will be spread across Guyana, St Lucia and Trinidad, and Sammy said much of the planning took into consideration the various venues.

“A lot goes into our thinking when we select different teams and with the different venues that we have, if you see the different teams we play, it’s right in line with the strength of our team and understanding what it will take to defeat these guys,” Sammy shared.

“The biggest thing for us has been preparation and it shows that when we prepare well, we’ve given ourselves the best chance of performing. The system that we’ve implemented is just geared towards winning the World Cup, and that’s what we have to do,” he ended.

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    Papua New Guinea will contest Group C alongside West Indies, Afghanistan, New Zealand, and Uganada. They will open against the Caribbean side on June 2, at the National Cricket Stadium in Guyana.

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