Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy expects the Windies to pull off a special performance at the upcoming T20 World Cup against all odds. Sammy conceded that he would never write off the West Indies as they have several match-winners in their ranks.
West Indies, two-time T20 World Cup winners (2012 and 2016) under Sammy's captaincy, have been one of the most under-performing sides over the last year and a half. Despite having numerous star players in their squad, they endured a group-stage exit in the previous edition of the T20 World Cup last year.
West Indies will therefore have to compete in the preliminary round to qualify for the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia.
In a column for the ICC, Sammy revealed speaking to captain Nicholas Pooran and observing the talent they possess. The 38-year-old opined that West Indies have wicket-taking bowlers like Akeal Hosein and Odean Smith, unlike last year's event.
"I would never write off the West Indies and I have a funny feeling that something special is going to happen in Australia. I just spoke to Nicholas Pooran and he reckons the guys are shaping up well. I have a really good feeling about this squad because we have so much talent."
"The batters are there as always. Kyle Mayers is such a talent and times the ball brilliantly and we know Nicholas is a match-winner. The good thing this time round is we have bowlers who can take wickets.
"We didn’t know where our wickets would come from last time but this time we do. You can rely on Akeal Hosein, he’s in the top 10 in the world and Odean Smith keeps improving, so it’s about fine-tuning and getting the right combinations."
Pooran, who has been in patchy form with the bat, captained the West Indies in their recent 2-0 series defeat to Australia. The left-hander managed only four runs in two games as the tourists struggled to adapt to the bounce of the Aussie wickets.
"We created history that day, it was amazing" - Darren Sammy on West Indies' T20 World Cup triumph in 2016
While Sammy looked back at the Windies' 2016 T20 World Cup triumph, he stated that the star players of the campaign were past their prime when they were brought back for the T20 World Cup last year.
"We made T20 our own for a decade and our players went on to become some of the greatest and most sought-after in the world. It’s the last memory I have in a West Indies shirt, that was my last game, and it’s a good one to remember.
"We created history that day, it was amazing. The sad thing is that after 2016 that team was dismantled. They brought the guys back in 2021 but they were way past their best."
The Windies will start their T20 World Cup campaign against Scotland in Hobart on Monday, October 17.