'My confidence is really high now' - Mohammed
Before he left Trinidad for Antigua to compete in the 2008 Stanford 20/20 Tournament with the national senior cricket team, Dave Mohammed declared he would be the chief wicket-taker in the competition.
Four knockout matches and 12 wickets later, his prediction has become reality and his efforts were among the main reasons Trinidad and Tobago secured the US$1 million first prize and the Stanford 20/20 winners' trophy with a nine-wicket thrashing of Jamaica in Sunday night's final at the Stanford Cricket Ground.
Though he fell short of his pre-tournament target of 15 wickets, Mohammed doesn't mind. "There was no tension [during the final]," he said. "I just tell the captain [to] give me the ball and I will do it. I was backing myself, so I was confident."
Mohammed is so confident that he is ready to take on the Jamaicans again, this time in the Carib Beer Series four-day fixture, which begins on Friday at the Queen's Park Oval. "This [title] has really boosted my confidence. My confidence is really high right now."
With his latest success, Mohammed is still hopeful of a West Indies call-up for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka and Australia. "I am always trying to do my best, but it is up to the [West Indies] selectors. But when someone is working very hard and performing, they should open their eyes and see and give them a chance, give them a good run.
And Mohammed dedicated T&T's victory to his wife and children. "Before I left for the tournament," he said, "I told them, 'I'm going to do it for you guys' and that I was going to make them proud. When I come back to the airport, I should be walking with my head high."
Mohammed did more than that, delighting his fans with his amusing celebration after disposing of Jamaica batsman Danza Hyatt via the stumping route, taking off one of his boots and holding it to his ear simulating a telephone. "I was just trying to give my fax number to Mr Hyatt to call, but he mistook the googly. He answered in the pavilion."
Although ups and downs on and off the field over the years, as well as uncertainty over his place in the West Indies team have plagued Mohammed, he believes they have helped him to grow as a person. "I think it made me stronger, into a much wiser person, into a much more enjoyable person, into a more family person."