West Indies news April 7, 2014

Gibson shifts focus to 2015 World Cup


West Indies coach Ottis Gibson wants his team to immediately shift gears towards the 50-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year following a semi-final exit which led to them relinquishing their World T20 title to eventual winners Sri Lanka. Gibson was optimistic that his team could put forth a formidable charge at another global tournament, and has urged his troops to ride the wave of their impressive T20 form over the past few months.

"I've been speaking to Richard Pybus (Director of Cricket) about getting together a core group of players to target the 50-over World Cup, getting some fitness done and making sure those guys are at the peak of their fitness," Gibson said. "All those [series] are opportunities to start to formulate a team or a squad of players that will then become the basis of the team that is likely to play in the World Cup, and get those guys playing together as often as possible.

"It would give captain [Dwayne] Bravo an opportunity to work with this group of players and get a brand of cricket that he wants to play developed and strong, so that by the time we get to the World Cup next year, the guys are ready to peak again and have a real good go at winning a world title."

Gibson added that while a 30-man preliminary squad would be chosen to groom the final team, there was a sense of urgency needed in establishing the nucleus of the team as early as possible.

"You have to look at where we are going and then you look at the people that we have in the Caribbean that are likely to succeed in those conditions and give them the opportunity to play," he said. "You will have a World Cup 30-man squad but by now there will be a core group of 15-20 players that you will be looking to choose from and give opportunities to, and whittle it down. You have to get that 15-man squad playing as much cricket together as possible and start to develop some cohesiveness.

West Indies have not won the World Cup since the first two tournaments held back in 1975 and 1979. They exited at the quarter-final stage in India three years ago, reached the Super Eights at home in 2007, and were quickly dispatched out of the first round in South Africa in 2003. Despite their indifferent form in recent World Cups, Gibson said that there was 'a hunger inside the team' following their World T20 loss, which he hoped would spur the players on.

"I think the taste of winning a world title in Sri Lanka [in 2012] has given everybody a fantastic appetite for it [winning titles]. We know what it takes, we know it's going to take a lot of hard work and commitment to the cause and that's what we are starting to see now."

Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Basil on April 11, 2014, 22:52 GMT

    Fix the FC system. The world wants a strong WI Test team. If they improve, the money will come, and they won't have to turn to T20's. That's the problem, the poorer nations are focusing on T20, and who can blame them?

  • Dummy4 on April 11, 2014, 12:27 GMT

    Some time and investment needs to be put into the quality of our Regional Cricket and better Coaching for the players of tomorrow in the 4-day matches. Going back to the basics of building a innings, playing each ball to it's merits and having the patience and self-discipline to have the temperament to play to the situation. To try and improve the state of the pitches, now that most of them are dry, dusty and flat like the sub-continent. That's improving the growth of our spinners, but killing off any up-and-coming fast bowlers, which is what we use to pride ourselves on. But until that changes, the quicks/seamers have to learn the art of reverse-swing and good, consistant line and length. But judging by the current motivation of the players, coach, management etc, all they seem to care about is where the money's at ( T20s), that's all well and good, but it's destroying our Test Match status in the process, which is a very sad and heartbreaking indictment of our legacy....SIGH!!!

  • Dummy4 on April 11, 2014, 4:49 GMT

    Snowprince, where have you been? How many former players have tried this thing and it does not work. Face it, our regional tournament is a joke. Have you heard the scores? The batting is weak. We can't go on forever with Gayle etc. They must go at some point. We were weak when the Lloyds, Holdings, Walsh etc left, can you imagine now what will happen. Stop blaming Gibson, he can't bat or bowl for these guys. We no longer have the luxury of having most of ours plaint in England, they saw to that many years ago, which is why they are stronger now. We need to get our tournaments stronger so that when they move up to the big leagues they are better prepared. As is is right now, they are not and most are in equipped to deal with first class players.

  • Dummy4 on April 11, 2014, 2:12 GMT

    My squad of 15 : Out from T20 World Cup 15 :-1. Smith 2. Johnson 3. Fletcher 4. Badree 5. Santokie REPLACED by 1.Powell 2. Edwards 3. Pollard 4. Benn 5.Roach. The other 10 :- 1.Gayle 2.Samuels 3.D.J.Bravo 4.Ramdin 5.Sammy 6.Russell 7. Narine 8. Rampaul 9. Simmons 10. Cottrel.

  • Roy on April 10, 2014, 11:38 GMT

    Who will teach and guide the younger players? Not Gibson! He is on a "power hitting" high, the best way to go about this is to have the experience players like Shiv and Sarwan in the team so the younger players can learn to be patient and bat for a long time especially in the longer formats, these two players have all ways showed interest in teaching and guiding the younger players. Sarwan in the recent 50 overs he played maybe 3 games and scored more runs than anyone at one point of the competition.too many youngsters in the team at once is going to hurt their careers, we need experience players in the team at all times.

  • Dummy4 on April 10, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    excuse me sarwan has had amiiion chances to prove himself ,yes he was good early in his caraeer,we cant go backwards now afterall the windies have an abundance of talent in the region they just have to be nurtued better thats all.

  • ESPN on April 9, 2014, 21:41 GMT

    why isnt their semi final appearance in 1996 where they lost to Aus by 4 runs not mentioned here? That was a damn good match..WI robbed of 3 runs as BC Cooray was struck by a Richie Richardson shot at square leg ..that would have been a sureshot boundary.

  • Android on April 9, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    I love West Indies cricket. I hope everyone is fit for the series and in top form...only the Ausies can beat us at home...so Windies...bring your best. And some quality fast bowlers. South Africa is waiting for a quality Windies team

  • jonathan on April 9, 2014, 14:42 GMT

    Ok lets get serious, WI T20 cricket is a no brainer! they can compete with anyone the problem is with the longer format. there's 5 test matches this year and i would like to see Ramdin as captain he has done a very efficient job for Trinidad and 1 of the more experience men in the team plus he see's what goes on the field better as a wicket keeper. Sammy tried but he doesn't have the patience to concentrate for long. Bravo who's no better than Sammy still have a lot too learn. when you position yourself behind the keeper at first slips then that said it all...Ego's gonna be hurt but it is time to make some drastic changes. Let those who desired to play IPL and focus on the WI cricket...

  • Roy on April 9, 2014, 14:34 GMT

    Sammy is a good guy nice person at least that is what he exudes but a leader and captain no way, Brovo will make a better t20,Odi captain, Ramdin test captain.Russell is an allrounder who did not perform with the bat he doesn't belong in the team, Shiv and Sarwan should always be in the team they can help with the inconsistency problem we are having with batting. Putting too many youngsters in the team at once is going to ruin their careers thus creating the down fall of WI cricket.

  • No featured comments at the moment.