MIRPUR, Bangladesh, 3 April-2014(WICB): Captain Darren Sammy says defending champions West Indies have been motivated by the lure of history as they prepare to battle with Sri Lanka in the first semi-final of the ICC World T20 here today from 09:00hrs (Eastern Caribbean time).
Windies skipper Darren Sammy smiles as he walks with the ICC WT20 trophy on the beaches in the Caribbean, prior to his team’s departure last month for Bangladesh to defend same. (WICB Media)
Sammy has revealed that his men left the Caribbean passionately charged to successfully defend their title, a feat no team has yet accomplished and today’s first semi-final brings together the teams that lined up for the World T20 final two years ago.
“When we left the Caribbean, we had that as the motivating factor for us,” said Sammy during a pre-game news conference yesterday.
“In the last World Cup, the mantra was one team, one goal and the mission was to win the World Cup. This year the mantra is the same: One team, one goal, but the mission is to retain the title. It’s something that no team has done before and we are very confident that we can do it”.
Sri Lanka and West Indies have had similar paths towards the semi-final winning three matches and losing one each in the group stages.
Their overall batting and bowling figures are similar with West Indies having the marginally better batting numbers, with a slightly higher scoring rate and average, while Sri Lanka have a marginally better bowling average.
“We are focused and committed to the goal we left the Caribbean with, which is to defend that title,” said Sammy.
“We broke it down in phases and it started way back against Ireland in the Caribbean and then the steps that we have taken to reach to the semi-finals, we only have two more steps to take so we are going to focus on that main step which is the semi-final”.