By Marlon Munroe
West Indies Captain Chris Gaylesaid his players should be going into today’s opening match of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament against Ireland with the knowledge that each player has his own role to play at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
Captain Chris Gayle, speaking at his team’s press conference yesterday at the Pegasus Hotel, pointed out that his bowlers did what was required of them against the Kiwis in the warm up match on Wednesday but his batsmen again failed to take them over the threshold to claim victory. Gayle even alluded to his batmen taking the 68-run opening stance between himself and Shivnarine Chanderpaul for granted as the side crumbled for 117 all out chasing 125 for victory.
“The concern was the batting department. Between me and Shiv [Chanderpaul] we gave the team a good start and set the foundation and then things just actually deteriorated. Maybe it was a situation where it was taken for granted and we eventually lost the game and therefore it was not the best start to the tournament” Gayle reasoned.
He added: “It’s not my cricket; I am not the only one playing the game. Everyone has to put their hand up because we have match winners in our team so everyone has their part to play whether with the ball or the bat”.
The powerful left hander stated though that there must not be a reliance on specific players but if there should be a solid foundation then the other players must take it upon themselves to guide the team to victory. He was at the time referring to the warm-up game but he also stated that the lost is behind him and the team and they will be looking forward to playing Ireland in their opening match today from 17:00 hours.
Further, Gayle said that he is somewhat concerned about explaining the collapse of the Caribbean after they would have been positions to beat their opponents. He said that much emphasis would have been placed on this progressive trend and currently he is at his wits’ end but he will be giving the members of his team the benefit of the doubt for it to emerge successfully in this tournament. “I will give them the benefit of the doubt to change things around and hopefully this tournament will be the right occasion for them to do so. We will be keeping our fingers crossed rather talking about the same thing over and over”, the Captain elaborated. On the other hand, Gayle implored WI followers to come out and support the team especially since there has been some psychological conditioning for the tournament. Meanwhile, Gayle stated that left arm spinner Sulieman Benn, who was the strike bowler in the warm-up game against New Zealand, and Jerome Taylor were having niggling shoulder problems; pinch hitter Kieron Pollard was not fielded for the warm up match because he came down with a bout of influenza.
Gayle said at the moment it is unclear whether the two will be fielded today but he is hoping for the best.
On the other hand, will be Ireland players Kevin and Niall O’Brien said that their team was looking to give Group-D teams a run for their money. The other team in the group is England.