Not favourites, but West Indies can go all the way, feels Darren Sammy
West Indies captain Darren Sammy does not want to look at his team as one of the favourites to win the ICC World T20 2012.
Speaking at his team's arrival press conference in Colombo, Sammy said that there are a number of good teams at the tournament who could win the title come 2 October.
"I have been asked a lot of times about how it feels to be the favourites. But I do not see us as favourites. There are a lot of good teams in this tournament. We just believe that we could come here and win. The calibre of the players we have means that once we go out there and play. We can go all the way in this tournament,'' said Sammy.
Pressed on the favourite tag again, Sammy played down the pressure of the billing. "Favourite tag does not guarantee us a place in the final. You still have to go out and play,'' insisted Sammy.
West Indies are coming to the tournament after a nine-day camp in Barbados and have played a couple of practice matches against the High Performance Centre and a Combined College team.
"We want to put all our resources into going out and winning. Our motto for the tournament is one goal, one people and one team. To win the tournament will mean a lot to us as cricketers. Cricket in our islands has been through a lot over the last few years,'' informed Sammy.
There is a lot of talk in the West Indies camp about two players-mystery spinner Sunil Narine and opener Chris Gayle. Sammy is excited to have the two in his squad for the tournament.
"Everybody calls Sunil as the mystery spinner. He has done well in the T20 format especially in the IPL. I can see him playing a very big role for us in the tournament because of the pitches. It is also good thing to have the experience of Chris at the top of the order. He has contributed for us for many years. It is good to have him at the top of the order.''
Sammy revealed that he has a fairly settled squad with the core of the players having played together for a long time.
"The core of the players have been together, preparing for the tournament. We have the ability and experience as well as some exciting players. All this has helped us win the recent series against New Zealand quite easily. We have quite a few all-rounders in the squad and have flexibility in the bowling so that should help us,'' said Sammy.
The West Indies all-rounder felt that playing in the ICC World Twenty20 provides a different challenge to not just his team but for all the other teams in the tournament.
"Approach for this tournament is not different from any other bilateral series. But the ICC World T20 is such a prestigious tournament. The 12 best teams come out for one big prize. The last ICC event we won was the ICC Champions Trophy in 2004. This now provides us with another opportunity to win something for us.''
Above all Sammy wants his team to bring the smiles back on the fans of West Indies cricket.
"Caribbean people are pulling in one direction. They support us everywhere. The people come out and support us wherever we go. We as a team always want to keep the fans at the forefront of our mind. It is a wonderful opportunity to put huge smile on the faces of our fans across the world for supporting us over the last few years. From speaking to everyone in the squad, I can see that they are all motivated and see this is as a massive opportunity,'' concluded Sammy.