Former West Indian legend Curtly Ambrose has praised the West Indies for their campaign in the 2016 ICC World T20. The Calypso Kings defeated England in a thrilling encounter at the Eden Gardens to win their second ICC World T20. Post the win, Ambrose in an interview with TOI stated that the win would massively boost the people of Caribbean. He spoke on a lot of issues and below are the excerpts from his interview.
How important is this victory considering the tough times the team had to face?
This win is a massive boost for each and every Caribbean supporter. In each of the team meetings, our talk would only centre on ways to win and nothing else. Plus, we believed the squad which was picked for the tournament had the ability to perform out of their skins. A good team led by an inspirational skipper is all that we needed to go the distance.
Both on and off the field, West Indies team had to endure a lot…
Yes, the adversities united us as a team. There have been issues with the West Indies Cricket board (WICB) which Darren Sammy spoke of on Sunday night and I wouldn’t want to add further. At the start of the tournament, not many gave us a chance to win this tournament – but we were fired up as a bunch. We had oodles of self-belief and at no stage we gave up. Also, the performances of our Under-19 team earlier in Bangladesh and our women’s team’s win motivated us to go out there and deliver on Sunday .
Do you reckon Brathwaite should’ve been given the Man-of-the-match award considering it was his final push that saw you cross the line?
Both Samuels and Brathwaite batted brilliantly. While Samuels anchored the innings splendidly, Brathwaite finished things off in style. For me, each member of the side was a ‘Man of the match’ in his own right and contributed to the win.
Did you ever feel it was slipping away from West Indies’ hands during the chase on Sunday?
Not for a moment. That’s what strong self-belief is all about. We knew we had the batting depth to cross the line, and that’s what happened. Yes, it was going to be a tough chase but we knew we would prevail.
Was there a particular instant during the tournament where you felt West Indies could perhaps win the title?
The win against India was a huge boost. To beat a good side like India gave us a lot of momentum. When we came to Kolkata to face England, I thought we were more than ready.
Talk us about the role of Darren Sammy in the overall scheme of things?
Darren brought a lot of calm to the dressing room. We have become a team that prays and thanks the Almighty. Darren had led this team to their maiden World T20 title in 2012 and knew what was needed to replicate that performance. He has been an inspirational leader and brought in an air of positivity in the team.