Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 15th 2015 Contents A54
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt February 15, 2015
NELSON, New Zealand---Senior player
Denesh Ramdin says West Indies will not
take anything for granted against Ireland,
in their opening game of the ICC World
Cup which bowls off later today (Monday
in New Zealand).
He said with a win crucially important
to the team s momentum, West Indies would
be going all out to ensure they started the
tournament on a high.
"We know the Irish. They have a very
disciplined bowling line up, they have some
good batsmen in there as well so we don t
need to take them lightly," the first choice
"It is very important that we go out and
play good positive cricket and try to beat
them in all departments and come up
trumps in that game."
West Indies have a rocky build up to the
tournament. Coming off a 4-1 thrashing at
the hands of South Africa there last month,
they also crashed to a bad nine-wicket defeat
at the hands of England in their opening
official warm-up earlier this week, when
they were bowled out for 122.
Then, they narrowly escaped with a three-
run victory against Scotland in their second
warm-up, despite making 313.
Ramdin said, however, there was a good
vibe in the camp and players were still work-
ing hard and anxious to do well.
"The spirit has been good so far. I just
think we need to get some partnerships at
the top of the order and get things going.
Some of the guys are low on confidence
but having said that, the middle order had
a good outing in the last game against Scot-
land," he pointed out.
"All the guys have been putting in a lot
of hard work so we are very excited as well
to get it started, and try and get another
win under our belts as quickly as possible,
and get this tournament kick started."
With West Indies batting suspect,
Ramdin s role in the team has become crit-
ical. The Trinidadian has been in decent
form of recent and believes his brand of
attacking cricket down the order will be
"My role in the middle order is very
important, I have to try and bat as many
overs as possible and give the power hitters
-- (Darren) Sammy, (Andre) Russell and those
guys -- the chance to come in and strike
the ball and give our bowlers something to
defend," he stressed.
"It s a good experience for me again to
share my experience with the other players
who haven t played here. It is a big occasion,
the World Cups are very exciting."West
Indies have been installed in Group B of the
World Cup alongside the likes of reigning
champions India, South Africa, Pakistan,
Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates.
NELSON, New Zealand---Nearly 15 years
after hanging up his boots, fast bowling
icon Sir Curtly Ambrose is back in West
Indies colours and is a man on a mission.
The Windies legend will not be suiting
up in the maroon gear to send down his
thunderbolts but he is a key figure behind
the scenes making sure the Caribbean side
are in tip-top shape to challenge for the
game s biggest prize.
Standing six feet, nine inches tall, Ambrose
was a menace to batsmen all over the world.
But despite a glittering career, he never
managed to win the World Cup.
He played in the 1992 edition in Australia,
1996 in Asia and 1999 in England but the
trophy eluded him on every occasion. He
is now hoping to make amends in 2015.
"I was fortunate to participate in three
World Cups, but it (winning) is the one
thing in my career that is missing. The only
regret, really, is that I never managed to win
the World Cup with the West Indies," Sir
Curtly told CMC Sports.
"We won it back in 1975 and 1979 with
the great teams under Clive Lloyd, but when
I came along we never quite won it.
"This time I hope to be on the winning
team. It would be a great delight for me to
add the World Cup ... not just for me but
for this team and the many fans we have
all over the world. For me it would be a
good icing on the cake."
Based on current form, West Indies are
not among the favourites. They were
thrashed 4-1 in South Africa in a recent
ODI series there, lost their opening official
warm-up match by nine wickets to England
earlier in the week, before narrowly beating
Scotland by three runs four days later.
Sir Curtly, known for his intensity and
desire to win during his playing days, said
West Indies would not be fazed by pundits
"Not many people have given us a chance,
but for me that s OK. What I told the team
is that we have to prepare well and go out
and give it all we have," he said.
"We must show good aggression and play
to our strength. We must demonstrate that
passion and that West Indian flair and play
with confidence. We have our plans and I
promise you we will do well."
The 51-year-old Antiguan joined the
Windies coaching staff in June last year and
is with the team in New Zealand as they
prepare for their opening World Cup match
against Ireland at the Saxton Oval here.
It will be the first Cricket World Cup
match at the small, quaint ground and all
tickets were sold out more than three days
before the game. The match will be played
on Sunday evening (Caribbean Time).
"When you look at our line-up I believe
we have a good team of players to do well
in this tournament and beat the top teams,"
Sir Curtly contended.
"It will take a unified team effort for us
to do well and I know we are capable of
winning. Everyone understands the impor-
tance of the World Cup and what is required
out here. To win the World Cup would do
a lot for our game and our people."
Sir Curtly, who was knighted by the
Antigua government last year, is rated as
one of the greatest fast bowlers in the game s
He took 405 wickets in 98 Test matches
at an amazing average of 20.99. He also
played 179 One-Day Internationals and took
225 wickets at an astonishing economy rate
of 3.48 runs per over. (CMC)
'Ambi' backing West Indies to upset form book
Windies won't take Irish
lightly, assures Ramdin
SIR AMBROSE ON A MISSION: West Indies bowling coach Sir Curtly Ambrose, left, and WI
chief selector Clive Lloyd.
We head into
the ICC Cricket
World Cup as
cry from the early
days of 1975, 79
and 83, when we
finished first, first
and second, and
was the most feared team in the game.
I believe we have shot ourselves in the foot and
had the people who selected our team seen the
World Cup for the prestigious tournament it is,
both Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo would have
been in Australia, New Zealand.
It is hard to understand the reasons why they
are absent. It's a self inflicted blow, for sure.
Statistics do not always tell the whole story and
simply put, there are no sensible reasons why both
players are not there. In fact, the reasons advanced
for their omissions are ridiculous. Pollard's mere
presence is enough to put fear in the hearts of the
opposition, and his attitude and confidence is such
that it lifts the members of his own team.
Statistics cannot put a value on that, nor the
indomitable camaraderie and spirit which he and
We head into today's first match under Jason
Holder's leadership, and I am sure that Ireland are
giving themselves a great chance of doing well. The
absence of Pollard and Bravo senior will see to
that, and boost their confidence.
But I remain optimistic. I believe we have a good
enough crop of players to get us into the
quarterfinals and from there, it will simply be a
matter of playing to the best of our abilities, one
game at a time and see how far that will take us.
There are some experienced players around in
Gayle, Samuels, Ramdin and Sammy, all of whom, I
am sure, will create the right atmosphere for
Holder to get the best out of the team. I wish him
well. Leading the West Indies is a big man's job,
and he will be given a real test over the next few
days. He did not put himself there but he accepted
the job. It is an honour that he should cherish.
On our way to the quarters, we must finish in
the top four of our seven-team group which include
India, Pakistan, both previous winners, South
Africa, who will be a handful, Zimbabwe, UAE and
of course Ireland, who will feel that they can
challenge us for fourth spot on the way forward.
The analysts have already identified India,
Pakistan and South Africa as the three most likely
to go through from the group and that any of
Ireland, Zimbabwe and the West Indies, will be
fighting for that fourth spot.
We have players who are world beaters on their
day, and once they come to the party, I don't see us
not being in the top four. As silly as this sounds, I
can't see why we can't upset India, Pakistan or
South Africa with our best performance.
I am a traditionalist and I love history. So the
World Cup means a lot to me, having played in four
of them. I would have loved to emerge with a
medal, but unfortunately, I did not. The best we did
while I was in the team was in 1996 when we lost
in the semifinals - a match that we were on the
verge of winning, before giving it away.
I still remain proud at having led our team in the
tournament when we hosted it here in 2007.
I recognise that the advent of T20 cricket, and
the decline in interest in Test cricket, leaves the
World Cup in limbo---a sort of middle man, with an
But for me and the players who experience the
thrill of being there, this is THE big stage---the
biggest single cricketing experience where all the
world's best cricketers aspire to perform for their
Nothing could give a cricketer a greater feeling.
It should be a month of thrills and excitement
and the entertainment provided is certain to linger
long into the future.
Who will win? Your guess is as good as mine.
But I'm sure, at the end of it all, it will be the
team that played the best cricket.
WI can surprise
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