Win puts new life into West Indies cricket - Heaven
President of the Jamaica Cricket Association Trevor 'Billy' Heaven believes the double victory by the West Indies men's and women's teams in the finals of the International Cricket Council's T20 World Cup in Kolkata, India, yesterday has put new life into the Caribbean game.
Captained by Jamaican player of the tournament, Stafanie Taylor, the Windies women won their first-ever T20 World Cup title, defeating Australia by eight wickets.
A few hours later, the West Indies men's team, with a mature knock from Marlon Samuels, won the ICC Men's T20 title, defeating England in their final.
"I want to commend the teams for giving us a double on the day, and I think both achievements were very, very remarkable and they put some new life in the West Indies," Heaven said.
Heaven also felt that it was an important moment for the Caribbean game.
"If you look in the various territories at the turnout at the different venues and the different spots, it was simply fantastic. They went out there determined and they went out there knowing they have the talent, skills and determination to win that final, and from that standpoint, I think it's a fantastic day."
Heaven said it was time for the West Indies women's cricket team to be given the respect they deserve by the Caribbean people.
"It's a remarkable and historic occasion for women's cricket in the world, and if you look at the teams they defeated, Australia, whether it's the women's team or the men's team, Australia is always difficult to beat, so it's a really difficult feat," he added.
"The women were motivated and they worked together as a team and they gave it their all. (Hayley) Matthews is a great talent going forward. She played a very mature game and supported Stafanie in a great way," he noted.
Heaven also singled out Samuels and Carlos Brathwaite, who hit four straight sixes to save the West Indies who entered the final over needing 19 runs to win.
"Marlon Samuels played a very, very mature and brilliant innings. He read the game well. He knew he had to stay there, and irrespective of Brathwaite's heroics in the last over, I believe Marlon set up the victory. Marlon stood there and he knew he had to be there at the end if West Indies had any chance at all of winning the cup," he said.
"That was Marlon at his best," he added.
He pointed out that the West Indies is the only men's team to have won the T20 World Cup twice.
"That's also an achievement on our part," he said.
Meanwhile, Peter Lloyd, group marketing director of team sponsors, Digicel, said the telecommunications company was delighted with the teams continued success.
"The 'Windies' teams fought hard and were rewarded with well-deserved wins against England and Australia - both formidable opponents. We wish all the West Indies teams continued success as we look to continue supporting them through our partnership with the West Indies Cricket Board."