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A glorious win
« on: April 05, 2016, 09:56:06 AM »

A glorious win

IT was awe-inspiring. That is perhaps the best way to describe the West Indies’ magnificent triumph in the WorldT20 on Sunday — a well-deserved win.

Clearly, the West Indies have evolved from a team that had until not too long ago been turning in lacklustre performances to one of the most dangerous sides in the world.

The West Indies’ mid-tournament surge astounded their worst critics and caught off guard formidable opponents such as South Africa, India and England in the final stages of the mega event.

Skipper Darren Sammy’s leadership and his post-final speech epitomised the passion which drives the West Indies as a force today.

His words were matched by the brilliance of Marlon Samuels and Carlos Brathwaite who managed an almost impossible victory to send the 50,000-strong crowd into raptures at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

It wasn’t England’s day on Sunday despite a valiant half-century by their best batsman Joe Root as the West Indies became the first ever team to win two World T20 titles.

Despite their history of cricketing success in the 1970s and 1980s, the West Indies experienced some bleak times during the past decade or so, especially in Tests and ODIs. Their top-order batting was either too brittle or too adventurous while the bowling was merely a shadow of its former self.

The fragile temperaments of the players was another issue. However, the step-motherly treatment of the team by the West Indies Cricket Board was the most detrimental factor of all.

It was no different this time as Darren Sammy’s men embarked upon the World T20 campaign — without any moral or financial support from the WICB.

But rather than busting their morale it created greater conviction in the dressing room as they brought the world to their feet with not just one but two grand trophies to their name — the West Indies women’s team won the Women’s World T20 title at the same venue earlier on Sunday. This should turn the tide for West Indies cricket.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2016

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