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West Indies Gear Up For T20 World Cup 2024 Under Daren Sammy’s Leadership
By CricShots - May 29, 2024 3:13 pm
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The hopes of the West Indies clinching another T20 World Cup title may well rest on the young shoulders of Shamar Joseph. At 24 years old, the fast bowler from Guyana has only played three T20 internationals, but his raw pace has already turned heads. Despite his limited experience in this format, which includes a challenging stint with the Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL, Joseph’s speed and skill make him a key player for the West Indies.

West Indies
West Indies

Coach Daren Sammy emphasized Joseph’s potential when announcing the squad, highlighting his ability with the new ball. “Shamar Joseph has the pace, he has skills with the new ball,” Sammy stated. “Not saying Matthew Forde doesn’t, but when you look at the role, it makes it easier for us to now pick the personnel to fit that role.”

Joseph’s meteoric rise began in January when he made headlines by decimating Australia’s renowned batting line-up in Brisbane. In only his second Test, he took 7-68, leading the West Indies to a narrow eight-run victory, their first win in Australia since 1997. This performance showcased not only Joseph’s talent and technique but also his flair for the dramatic, marking him as a player made for big moments.

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As the West Indies gear up for the T20 World Cup, they find themselves in Group C, alongside Afghanistan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda. Their goal is clear: to become the first team to lift the T20 World Cup three times, following their successes in 2012 and 2016. The latter victory is famously remembered for Carlos Brathwaite’s four consecutive sixes against Ben Stokes in the final over.

Veterans Johnson Charles and Andre Russell, both instrumental in previous victories, return to bolster the squad. However, playing at home comes with its own pressures. The West Indies’ disappointing performance in the 2007 ODI World Cup, despite having legends like Brian Lara, is a stark reminder of the challenges they face.

“It is not going to be easy, but we are one of only two nations to have won it twice, so we are going to try and make it three,” said former fast bowler Curtly Ambrose, who was the bowling coach in 2016. “No other nation has ever won it (T20 World Cup) on home soil, so all that is motivation for the guys to do well.”

Recent history hasn’t been kind to the West Indies. Since their 2016 win, they’ve struggled in T20 World Cups. Kieron Pollard’s team managed just one win in the 2021 tournament in the UAE, while Nicholas Pooran’s side failed to qualify for the main round in Australia the following year. Adding to their woes, the West Indies did not qualify for the ODI World Cup in India last year.

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Despite these setbacks, Ambrose remains optimistic, believing that the West Indies “have a very, very good team”. He added, “Once the guys start playing consistent cricket and smart cricket, I believe we can take the trophy.”

The squad certainly boasts plenty of match-winning talent. Left-hander Nicholas Pooran had an outstanding IPL, scoring 499 runs at a strike rate of 178.21 for the Lucknow Super Giants, making him a crucial part of the middle order. Shai Hope and skipper Rovman Powell are also proven performers.

Darren sammy
Darren Sammy

Assuming he plays, Shamar Joseph, alongside his namesake Alzarri Joseph, will provide the West Indies with formidable firepower with the ball. Coach Sammy is confident in the team’s preparation and potential, stating, “What we’ve been able to do throughout the last year as a T20 group, the players we’ve exposed, has brought us to this moment. And I think we’re about to knock it out of this world.”

With a blend of youthful exuberance and experienced campaigners, the West Indies are gearing up to make a significant impact in the T20 World Cup 2024.