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WI coach Sammy: ‘This loss will not dampen our spirits’

Daren Sammy urged his West Indies team to disregard their eight-wicket defeat to England and remain focused on their goal of winning a historic third men’s T20 World Cup. Despite setting England a target of 181 runs at the St Lucia ground named after him, West Indies managed to take only two wickets as England reached the target with 15 balls to spare, largely due to Phil Salt and Jonny Bairstow’s unbroken 97-run partnership for the third wicket. Sammy acknowledged that on a flat pitch, his team fell approximately 25 runs short of a competitive total.

“It’s all part of the game,” Sammy remarked. “This loss shouldn’t demoralize us. We still believe we have the capability to win this World Cup, and that’s the message I’ll convey to the team: let’s put this game behind us, move on, and focus on our upcoming matches against the USA in Barbados, and South Africa in Antigua on Sunday.”

Acknowledging the strength of competition in the tournament, Sammy emphasized that facing the defending champions was a tough challenge but not an insurmountable setback for their campaign. He stressed the team’s belief in their potential, stating, “Our fate is in our hands. I have confidence in the 15 men we have, and we believe we can win this tournament.”

Reflecting on team selection, Sammy explained the decision to bring back Roston Chase and Romario Shepherd, who had missed the previous match against Afghanistan due to paternity leave, replacing Shai Hope and Obed McCoy. Regarding Shepherd’s inclusion over McCoy, who had performed well against Afghanistan, Sammy highlighted Shepherd’s consistent contributions in T20 cricket over the past year and his suitability against England’s lineup and the conditions.

Currently at the bottom of Group 2 in the Super Eight stage, West Indies now face the task of winning their remaining matches against the USA and South Africa to secure a spot in the semi-finals. Sammy admitted there were areas where the team could have executed their plans better but remained optimistic about their chances, focusing on the immediate turnaround and preparations for the upcoming matches.

“We’ll leave this game here in St Lucia. With a quick turnaround, we head to Barbados tomorrow, and on Friday, we face the USA. We’ll regroup as a team, assess our strategy, and aim to strengthen our lineup based on the prevailing conditions,” Sammy concluded.

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