Kolkata: The World Twenty20 2016 concluded in a most thrilling fashion with the West Indies scripting history by becoming the first team to clinch the title for the second time. The party for the Windies on Sunday at the iconic Eden Gardens got even bigger and better as before the men’s final, their women’s team won the Cup to make it two world titles in a day.
Before the tournament actually kicked off, few gave the men from the Caribbean islands a chance to reach the final, because of their recent troubles off the field with their cricket board and with a few T20 specialists missing from their squad due to injury.
But the depth in the batting and bowling line-up, the talent in their dressing room and their bench strength fought against all odds and proved the critics wrong by eventually claiming their second World T20 title after 2012.
Each and every member of the squad delivered when it mattered most and the final against England will be everlasting in their memories thanks to Carlos Brathwaite’s late assault of four consecutive sixes in the last over off Ben Stokes which left 2010 winners England stunned.
With the West Indies also winning the U-19 World Cup earlier this year, 2016 is witnessing a revival of sorts for the former superpowers of the game. They may no longer be the same force they used to be in Test cricket, but Sunday’s triumph clearly demonstrated that they are still among the best when it comes to limited-overs cricket.
Besides the West Indies, hosts India, who were termed as favourites to win the title, gave it their all with three successive wins after a loss against New Zealand in the opener, but failed to hold on till the end.
Skipper Darren Sammy took a dig at the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) after the win. “We needed silverware in the Caribbean in 2012 and yes nobody gave us a chance back then. This one with all that happened before the tournament the disrespect from journalists and from our own cricket board that was out of order. The only way we could make a statement is by winning this tournament,” he said.
“When we started this journey people were wondering whether we would play this tournament. We had a lot of issues, we felt disrespected by our board, Mark Nicholas described our team as a team with no brains. All these things before the tournament just brought this team together,” he said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Sammy went on to lay out the extent to which his squad had been unprepared, “We had a new manager in Rawle Lewis, who has never managed a team before. We had no uniforms, no printing,” said the all-rounder. “The trouble he went through to just get us in this uniform. I got to give credit to the entire team here. “It was us in our own little circle and we dedicate this win to all fans in Caribbean,” he added. “We never gave up believing. It’s something we will cherish for a long time,” said Sammy.