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Home African Caribbean West Indies women’s and men’s teams stand united
Archiman Bhaduri for CaribDirect

Staff Writer – Archi

West Indies cricketers might not see eye to eye with their cricket board, but there is no denying the fact that their male and female cricketers share tremendous rapport. The bond between the two Caribbean teams was on full display as they completed a `double’ in the 2016 ICC World T20 at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday.

The Caribbean cricketers complained about the poor facilities and lack of planning on the part of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) in the run-up to this mega event and stated that they were hurt by the insensitive attitude of their administrators.

The apathy of the WICB appeared to be the glue that bound the men’s and women’s teams which stood by each other throughout their respective campaigns in the month-long WT20 meet.

No such bonding was seen among the men’s and women’s teams of any of the other nine participating nations.

It was great to see Sammy and a few of his teammates rushing to the middle to celebrate their women’s team’s maiden WT20 title triumph. The Caribbean ladies too stayed back to cheer for the men’s team and joined the post-match celebrations at the Eden Gardens late into the night.

The two teams enjoying each other’s success as they danced together in the middle of the pitch following West Indies’ `double’.

Darren Sammy acknowledged that the men’s team drew inspiration from the U-19 boys and women’s success. “Before the start of this tournament we were inspired by the Under-19 boys’ who had won the colts World Cup. Earlier this afternoon the women won the Cup. All these motivated us,“ the skipper said at a post-match press conference.

West Indies captains Merissa Aguilleira and Darren Sammy during the West Indies Open Media Day at the ICC World T20 Photo courtesy wwwicc cricketcom

West Indies captains Merissa Aguilleira and Darren Sammy during the West Indies Open Media Day at the ICC World T20. Photo courtesy www.icc-cricket.com

His female counterpart Stafanie Taylor also admitted that her team always got good support from the men. “It’s not that we could interact face to face regularly since we were playing at different venues. But we were in touch always over the phone or text messages. We always had the full support,“ she said after her team’s victory over Australia in the final that preceded the men’s summit clash.

Looking back, she recalled how Sammy and his players encouraged them. “After we won the semifinal, I remember Sammy waking us all up in the middle of the night saying we need to celebrate and have a drink,“ she stated. “He (Sammy) always advised us to `just go there and do your best’,“ she added.

Sammy, in fact, has been like a big brother to the women cricketers. “Sammy loves to talk. He would go on and on. He’s a fantastic guy and we all love to interact with him. He’s always positive,“ Taylor said.

It was, therefore, not surprising that Sammy’s, bowling coach Curtly Ambrose and all-rounders Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo were among the first to congratulate the girls after their memorable victory and join them in the `Champion Dance’ that was reportedly choreographed by `DJ’ Bravo. The ladies returned the compliment by joining in the men’s victory jig that may well become the flavor of the IPL that follows.

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