Darren Sammy-led West Indian setup beat Sri Lanka in a warm-up game before the ICC World T20 2014 started © Getty Images (File Photo)
Mirpur: Apr 2, 2014
Darren Sammy is set to lead his team into the ICC World T20 2014 semi-final against Sri Lanka on Thursday at the Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. The two teams were the finalists of the previous edition, where West Indies stunned the Sri Lankans in front of their home side by strangling them in a relatively modest run-chase. Speaking to the media ahead of the upcoming game at Mirpur, Sammy said that West Indies have to focus on the present and Sri Lanka should also be aware of the threat the Caribbean army present to them.
“For us, it is another game of cricket. Whenever we play tournaments against any opposition, on that day we focus only on that opposition. Cricket is not about what has happened before. [It is about] what happens on the cricket field in the present day,” Sammy said.
West Indies also beat Sri Lanka in a recent warm-up game before the Super 10s and Sammy says that his side have a lot of respect for their opposition. “Yes, we defeated them in the  world cup and in the warm-up game. We know they have played some good cricket and we have a lot of respect for them. At the same time, we know what we have to do to win.”
West Indies beat Pakistan on Tuesday and were at Mirpur to train for the semi-final. Speaking about the practice sessions, Sammy said, “While practicing we are going to focus on the way we want to play tomorrow. Hopefully we can execute our plans and improve on the areas that need improvement. We have been peaking at the right time, doing some good things showing the team spirit and the never say die attitude. Hopefully it continues.”
So far, there have been four World T20s and each time we have had a different winner. West Indies aim to change that as they have reached the semi-final. Sammy said, “We left the Caribbean with that as the motivating factor for us and last World Cup, the mindset was one team, one goal and the mission was to win the World Cup. This year also, it is one team one goal. But, the mission is to retain or defend the title.”
“It is something that no team has done before and we are confident that we could do it. Once we play the blend of cricket we have played in the last three games, there is every possibility we can [defend]. But, it is a game of cricket and T20 [Twenty20] is the shortest format. It is all about momentum and seizing the right opportunity. So far we have been able to do that and hopefully, we could do that against Sri Lanka. We have a fair idea what they bring to the table and we just have to play our cards right,” Sammy said.
During the victory against Pakistan, Samuel Badree was the star as he took three wickets for only 10 runs in his four overs. Sammy was asked whether the Sri Lankan batsmen would be a challenge for them. He though, said that it would be a task for the opposition batsmen as well.
“Just like it will be challenging for him [Badree], it will be challenging for them. You are looking at No 1 and 2 in the West Indies bowling line-up, [Sunil] Narine and Badree. [Krishmar] Santokie has done his bit. Yes, we are aware of the threat they [Sri Lanka] bring but they also should be aware of the threat we bring. The final [ICC World T20 2012] would be at the back of their mind. The practice game would be at the back of their mind. They know once West Indies come up and turn up, West Indies is dangerous,” Sammy concluded.
ICC World T20 2014 schedule: Match time table with venue details