The West Indies victory in the ICC World Twenty20 has to be one of the more popular wins in a world event. Over the years the West Indies have entertained so many cricket lovers with their brand of play and the way they enjoy it that the cricketing world was worried when they slipped down, and were unable to even put up a fight in Test cricket and got eliminated early in the World Cups.
There was an almost universal lament that the West Indies were not the team of old and just about everybody apart from those who were playing against them wanted them to do well. The win in Colombo may not have gone down well with the locals for whom it was yet another disappointment for it was the fourth final that they had lost, but it has brought smiles pretty much all over the rest of the cricketing world.
They have some players to thank of course, but none more than Chris Gayle. As soon as he came back to the team after being kept out for some obscure disciplinary reasons, the atmosphere in the dressing room changed. They were more happy and when a team is happy they play better.
Before that, though, with players like Sarwan and even the mild mannered Chanderpaul having issues with the team management the atmosphere in the dressing room was far from harmonious. Gayle’s arrival has changed all that and if Sarwan and Chanderpaul are brought back into the fold the West Indies will be a batting force to reckon with.
The coach may try and take the credit for the turnaround, but all those in the vicinity of the dressing room know the real story and quite simply it was Gayle's absence that was hampering the team and everybody knows who stopped him from coming back sooner.
The big left hander dominated the tournament, but even he will agree that if Marlon Samuels had not played the innings that he did then the West Indies would not have made it. Samuels' counter attack on Lasith Malinga was as breath taking as Virat Kohli’s in the tri-series in Australia earlier in the year. Malinga like all cricketers will have the odd bad day, and unfortunately for Lanka it came in the finals.
The Samuels assault gave the West Indies some score to defend, though skipper, Sammy also played his part with 15 runs off the last over and the Lankan body language showed they were worried. Then once their three main batsmen failed it was all over.
For his outstanding display in the finals Marlon Samuels is the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week.
Professional Management Group