Legends back WI veterans to come good at T20 World Cup
West Indies legends Sir Clive Lloyd of Guyana and Jamaica's Lawrence Rowe believe the seasoned campaigners in the West Indies squad at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup will hold the trump card for the regional side if they are to retain their world title they won back in 2016.
Former West Indies captain Lloyd told THE WEEKEND STAR from his United Kingdom base that the West Indies will face stiff competition from some of the perennial teams at the global show-piece, however, he is adamant that veteran players such as Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, and captain Kieron Pollard will be key to the team's victory bid, starting with their opening encounter against England tomorrow.
"The tournament is an open contest in the sense of the teams that can lift the title. There is England, New Zealand, India, West Indies, Pakistan and South Africa, who have a good side as well. It's going to come down to consistency for the West Indies, and, hopefully, the seasoned guys come with their 'A' game," said Lloyd who played 110 Test matches and 87 one-day internationals for the West Indies. The 77-year-old captained the West Indies for 11 years, between 1974 and 1985.
The West Indies head into the tournament following back-to-back losses to Pakistan and Afghanistan in their warm-up games, however, 72 year-old Rowe, who played 30 Test matches and 11 one-day internationals for the West Indies in the mid-1970s and 1980s, says the veterans in the squad will have to show their mettle if the regional side is to come out victorious.
"For us to win, we are going to need a few good performances from the ageing boys. This might just be a last hurray for these guys, and I believe they can win you a match or two with a few good innings still left in them," said Rowe.
Rowe was also keen to add that veteran players such as Gayle, Bravo and Ravi Rampaul could very well be the key men for the West Indies.
"The people that they are playing against know that they have the reputation of being match-winners, and although they may be considered 'old', there is a lot of respect from the opposition."
Rowe said the only regret he sees for the regional side, is the absence of a world-class bowler such as Sunil Narine, who he believes would have been an 'ace in the hole' for the defending champions.
"I believe that someone like Narine should have gone to the World Cup seeing that the tournament is being played in Asia where Narine is a dominant figure. He would have been a big asset to the team if he was there," added Rowe who made history on his Test match debut against New Zealand at Sabina Park in 1972, scoring 214 and 100 not out. He is the first cricketer to do so on Test debut.