Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Samuels wants the West Indies to be the top side around by the time he retires
West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels has announced that the national team will continue rising from the ashes and fighting against all their opposition until they achieve the top ranking in all three formats.
Samuels’ comments came after the West Indies’ disappointing showing at the recently concluded Champions Trophy.
“We are not going to blow our horn about it but at the moment if you look at the West Indies set-up we have some wonderful players with a lot of experience,” Samuels said. “So you can’t rule us out. The great thing about West Indies cricket right now is that we are competing and winning games, not like back then when we were losing games. And not just in the Caribbean but also outside it, the fans are coming back. So that is motivating us to win more games so that we can win back the fans’ hearts plus put West Indies cricket back on top.”
Samuels admitted that he was frustrated at not having made the semi-finals in the tournament, but vowed to do everything in his power to carry the West Indies from seventh on the ODI rankings to first.
“It is a steep corner to turn but the good thing is that we are on the corner, we have not turned it as yet, so there are a lot of areas we need to improve,” he added. “We need to have more match-winners and get balls in the (right) areas consistently. As a unit we are getting stronger and better and the strength in the group will, in the long-run, see us winning games non-stop and beat the best teams in the world.
“For me, when I finish I want to know that West Indies cricket is No 1 again.”
The 32-year-old also stated that he wished he could turn back time and change the course of the tournament so that it would have been the men from the Caribbean facing India in the finals.
“The way I saw it we should go back into the finals and meet India and then it would be perfect, we would just play a T20 and finish off the tournament, we are the T20 champions,” he said. “It never happened.”
However, Samuels also noted that the West Indies showed some very encouraging signs throughout the Champions Trophy.
“We are playing some serious cricket right now and gaining a lot of respect, individually and as a team,” he said. “Playing in maroon is more special than anything else for us. Our cricket is where we want it to be at the moment but there is room to improve.”
Meanwhile, West Indies head coach Ottis Gibson stated that his side were unlucky during the tournament, but added that it was time to put the “little mistakes” they made behind them and look forward to the future.
“I think we were starting to shape up to do well in that tournament. It’s just to kick on from there,” Gibson said. “It’s to put those little mistakes that we made in England, put them away. We felt we had a good opportunity to win that tournament and we want to win this one and prove ourselves right.
“It is good to be back home. There’s more balance in the side and we are starting to believe a lot more that we can be the team that we want to be. We are starting to show the application and hopefully we will continue to show that development and progress.”