October 8, 2012

West Indies cricket

Sammy deserves respect

After their World Twenty20 triumph, the revival of West Indies cricket under coach Ottis Gibson and captain Darren Sammy has found shape. The Trinidad Express editorial points out Sammy's level-headed modesty, and despite having "reservations about his captaincy", says he deserved their respect because he kept the team inspired and united. West Indies cricket may finally be emerging from its "decade of turbulence".

For Sammy, the victory was a vindication of his tactical approach to the captaincy which has seen him work with the WICB in emphasising team discipline to a degree that critics often considered unfair and unhealthy. Whatever our reservations about his captaincy, Captain Sammy deserves our admiration and congratulations for keeping his team united, committed and inspired enough to survive early defeat against Sri Lanka and come back to take the trophy against them. Yesterday's triumph can only have enhanced confidence in Sammy's captaincy.

West Indies' World Twenty20 final victory was possible due to Marlon Samuels' brilliance. Osman Samiuddin, writing in The National, talks about his fierce hunger and focus to bail his team out of tricky situations in the final, which has been a hallmark of his for the past year.

This should be an essay question for a university exam: "Marlon Samuels as West Indian hero. Discuss." Samuels has serious history. Quite apart from being the next big thing who was not for over a decade, he has been banned for passing information on to an alleged bookmaker and has been called for chucking. This last one is not resolved.

Goodness knows what and how but something has happened to him this year. And last night, it all came to be. Throughout his entire 78, it looked like serious rage was driving him, rage not only at the impotence of the start his team had made but more pointedly at himself, for wasting a decade.

In the other final of the day, the Women's World Twenty20 final, Australia defeated England by four runs to become champions. Former England batter Ebony Rainford-Brent, former England offspinner Vic Marks and cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew dissect the defeat of their team in BBC Sport.

"The bowling was the biggest problem. Charlotte Edwards is normally able to set good fields, but the bowlers were not able to bowl to their plans. The batters only really hit boundaries, there was a lot of dot balls in between. England will want to analyse that because the World Cup is coming up next year."

RELATED LINKS

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.