Last Updated on Sunday, 3 April 2016, 16:53 by Denis Chabrol
Prime Minister of Grenada and Chairman of the CARICOM Subcommittee on Cricket Governance, Dr. the Right Hon. Keith Mitchell, has congratulated the West Indies Men’s and Women’s teams on their heartwarming victories in the World T20 competitions earlier today.
The Men’s team defeated England in the Finals by four wickets, with two balls remaining; scoring four consecutive sixes in the first four balls of the final over, to secure the seemingly improbable win. Earlier the Women’s team crushed defending champions Australia to secure their first ever World T20 title.
“It is with exhilarating pride that I extend the heartiest congratulations, on behalf of the Government and people of Grenada, as well as all the CARICOM Prime Ministers, to our region’s cricketers. The Under-19 earlier this year in the ICC World Cup; the Women’s Team earlier today for securing the T20 championship, and now the Men’s team for achieving this great World T20 victory,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.
Dr. Mitchell noted that throughout the hard-fought contests and in the face of daunting adversities on and off the field, the Caribbean teams maintained their focus, and executed with skill, composure and pride, to deliver to an expectant and grateful region some of the most memorable victories in West Indies cricketing history; and indeed the most memorable in recent times.
Again, Prime Minister Mitchell, who had extended best wishes to the teams prior to the Finals and expressed his optimism for victory, pledged the continued unwavering support of the Governments of the CARICOM region to developing cricket on an all-encompassing basis, including its governance, so as to ensure that on all levels, the players receive the necessary guidance and nurturing to harness their potential.
Prime Minister Mitchell reasserted the collective belief that cricket is arguably the most unifying force among the people and countries in the Caribbean region, citing that “the sport continues to be a major catalyst for positive social transformation. As such, the West Indies organization must be reminded of the tremendous role they play in regional development,” the Prime Minister added.
“This is why we are so happy today, after these victories. Hopefully, we are witnessing a major turnaround in West Indies cricket” the Prime Minister added.
Meanwhile, Damien O’Donohoe, Chief Executive Officer of the HERO Caribbean Premier League (CPL) has offered his congratulations to the West Indies team after Darren Sammy’s side defeated England by four wickets in the most dramatic ICC World T20 final ever seen in Kolkata on Sunday on the greatest day in the history of West Indies cricket.
Speaking from Eden Gardens following the victory, a delighted Mr O’Donohoe said: “I’ve never been to a World Cup final before and to be here in Eden Gardens on the greatest day ever in West Indies cricket, cheering on the women’s and men’s teams, is an amazing feeling and an enormous privilege.
“The people across the Caribbean will be partying for a month after this! I’m still shaking and it’s a day I’ll never forget for as long as I live. I just can’t wait for CPL to start now. Taking the World Champions into the USA this year will be so exciting for all involved.
“Against all odds the West Indies came from behind to seize back the initiative and credit to Carlos Brathwaite who built on Marlon Samuels’ stunning innings and Samuel Badree’s great bowling spell earlier to propel the team to glory and announce himself on the world stage.
“But this wasn’t about one individual. This was about the collective. And I have no doubt that CPL fans will come out in huge numbers this summer to cheer on their heroes as well as some of the biggest names in the world game. Today was without doubt the greatest moment in West Indies’ history and the CPL will be there every step of the way to help develop the game and build on these incredible successes.
“On behalf of the CPL I would like to extend my congratulations to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), coach Phil Simmons, captain Darren Sammy and the entire West Indies team and management on their performances in India.
“Congratulations are also due to women’s coach Vasbert Drakes, captain Stafanie Taylor and the women’s team who also clinched the title earlier in the day after defeating Australia in another fantastic game. The CPL are extremely proud of all the players and coaches who have catapulted West Indies back to their rightful place at the top table of world cricket and this is a great day for the fans who are the best in the world.
“Following on from the victorious ICC Under-19 World Cup team in Bangladesh in January, who will have representatives competing in each of our six franchises this season, today’s results again highlight the enormous mark that the West Indies continues to make on the global game.
“The performance of the players summed up all of the great virtues of West Indies cricket, which have been evident over the last few weeks. From individual flair, to collective power, precision and a never-say-die attitude, the men’s team has grown from strength to strength since the first round victory over England.
“I have no doubt that the performances in Bangladesh and here in India over the last few weeks will herald a golden era for West Indies cricket.”