ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
West Indies team manager, Richie Richardson, has described the current regional management as "the most organised and best" he has ever worked with in any organisation.
And he has called on Caribbean cricket fans to put aside insularity in relation to team selection and "stop bickering and pulling against each other".
Speaking in a wide-ranging interview after West Indies lifted the ICC Twenty20 World Cup for the first time in Sri Lanka just over a week ago, Richardson, who is also a former West Indies captain and leading batsman, pointed to the professionalism exhibited by the management team.
"I have to say I've worked with a number of organisations and I think the management team of the West Indies is certainly the most organised, the best team I've ever worked with. Everybody looks out for each other, very organised, very professional, always in position to do what they have to do and look after the players," said Richardson, who was first appointed manager in January last year.
"I think we are a perfect example of what a team should be like and I am sure that the players would have learned from us as well. So the management team has also played a significant part in what we have done so far and it's not just about the players going out there to play the game. It's having people managing them and making sure they do all the right things, supporting them. I think we've done that very well."
Under the captaincy of all-rounder Darren Sammy, West Indies beat Sri Lanka by 36 runs in the final in Colombo on October 7 to spark wild celebrations among the players, management and fans.
Significantly, the team for the final comprised six players from Trinidad and Tobago - Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul and Samuel Badree; three from Jamaica - Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and Andre Russell; and two St Lucians - Sammy and Johnson Charles.
"It's about time we stop bickering and pulling against each other and stop having such narrow views about selection and who is playing and stuff like that," Richardson said.
Opinions will vary
"Obviously, people are going to have their opinion, but at the end of the day, we should always support the team that goes out there on the field to represent us.
"So I just want to reach out to Caribbean people. Let us continue to support our team. Let us continue to be together because we have problems and one of the problems that we have is that we pull against each other.
"Everybody wants their player to captain or their player to play. It's all about the Caribbean. If 11 players are from Trinidad, let's support those 11 players. If the captain is from Nevis, let's support that captain. It's about the West Indies and I know the selectors will pick the team that they think is the best to go out there and do the job. Let us all support that because when we win, we all feel really, really good."
West Indies' triumph meant that they became the second nation after India to win all three ICC versions of limited overs titles, having swept to the first two World Cups under the captaincy of Clive Lloyd in 1975 and 1979 in England, and the Champions Trophy in 2004 with Brian Lara at the helm, also in England.
West Indies can, however, claim that they won all of their titles without a share, as was the case with India who shared the Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka in a rain-hit final in Colombo in 2002.
West Indies next tour Bangladesh in November and December for two Tests, five ODIs and a T20 international. A 15-man squad, to be again led by Sammy, was announced last Saturday.