Windies carrying World T20 confidence to Champions Trophy

Bridgetown, May 26 (IANS/CMC) West Indies head coach Otis Gibson says the Caribbean cricketers will arrive in England for the Champions Trophy full of confidence on the strength of their triumph at the World T20 last year.

Gibson, playing down suggestions that the Windies could be under pressure to perform, says the success in Sri Lanka late last year, could instead provide a fillip.

The Windies head coach was speaking at a news conference here Saturday as the squad prepared to leave for the June 6-23 tournament in England and Wales.

“Winning major events give the confidence. There will be some pressure of course but the fact that we have won the last major event means that we get confidence from it also and there is a lot of belief amongst the players,” Gibson said.

The players were England-bound after wrapping up a five-day training camp in Barbados, held without several members of the squad due to their commitments to the Indian Premier League (IPL) which climaxes Sunday.

West Indies are drawn in Group B alongside reigning World Champions India, Pakistan and South Africa.

“So we get there, we get ourselves together and we look forward to the challenge of getting out of the group. It’s a tough group and the next group is also a tough group. Getting out of the group is our first challenge and getting to the quarterfinals and semifinals and then our aim then is to be playing on the 23rd in the finals. I think we have a pretty good record in finals,” said Gibson.

Gibson says the full Windies squad will be together by Tuesday including players from the IPL such as captain Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle, Ravi Rampaul, and Sunil Narine.

West Indies hold another training camp in Wales before taking on Australia and Sri Lanka in warm-up fixtures.

“It is who get settled quickly enough or who get used to the conditions quickly enough. That can then have a major say as well and that’s what our aim is — to get there and get ourselves acclimatised as quickly as possible. It is all about gelling as quickly as we can to ensure that when the main event comes on the seventh that we are ready for them,” he added.

The regional side is anticipating strong support from England’s West Indian community in their bid to recapture the title they won in 2004 which was also played in England.

“I think we have seen more and more people coming out to support the team and we know that we will get a lot of support in England anyway. So if we can hit the ground running and start with a couple of wins, then I am sure that the massive support that we get in England will follow us around the tournament.”



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