ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – West Indies Cricket Board chief Julian Hunte is urging regional fans to throw their support behind the home squad for the upcoming World Twenty20 Championship.
In a statement issued yesterday, Hunte said the home team’s success in any international tournament was important, and encouraged fans to embrace the Windies as they campaigned in the April 30 to May 16 event.
“I want to encourage all the fans to play their part, to support their favourite team, and to do so with respect for each other and respect for the game,” Hunte said.
“I also want to urge West Indies fans to come out and show love for their teams. In all international sporting events, the home team always plays a key part and we want to see our fans supporting our players in a big way.
“I urge everyone to ‘Bring It!’, and experience what will be a huge celebration of the game of cricket.”
West Indies will be headliners for the tournament-opening doubleheader when they clash with minnows Ireland in Group D in Guyana on Friday. In the preceding fixture, New Zealand and Sri Lanka clash at the same venue in the curtain-raiser.
The bulk of the teams arrived in the Caribbean at the weekend, averting a travel crisis following the closure of British airports and some throughout Europe because of ash from the Icelandic volcano.
Hunte said he expected the tournament to live to expectations.
“The ICC World T20 is here! With just a few days to go before the first ball, I am delighted to welcome everyone from all across the cricket world to the Caribbean – where cricket is king,” Hunte said.
“I know you will all be thrilled with the sights and scenes across the four countries hosting matches, as well as the hospitality of the fabulous people. I am also sure you will be glued to the action on the field as the world’s best cricketers provide us with superb entertainment.”
The women’s side of the tournament, comprising four teams in Group A and B, will be played in St Kitts during the preliminary stages before moving to St Lucia for the semi-finals.
Pakistan are the defending men’s champions while England are the women’s title holders.