KOLKATA, India, CMC – Head coach Phil Simmons does not believe that last Thursday’s pulsating semi-final win over tournament favourites India has served as a distraction for West Indies ahead of Sunday’s crucial final against England.
The Windies produced a magnificent run chase at the Wankhede Stadium to overhaul a target of 193 and knock India out of the Twenty 20 World Cup.
In customary Caribbean style, the players celebrated the victory with frenetic on-the-field dancing and by partying in the dressing room and on the team bus – videos that went viral on social media but Simmons said the team had remained focussed on their ultimate objective.
“They’ve been celebrating after every match that we’ve won so nothing changes it’s just that it was a little more visual this time because we beat India but I think we make sure and celebrate our wins now because we haven’t been doing that for a number of years,” he told reporters.
“We’re a close team so it’s always good to celebrate and enjoy but I think we’re in the frame of mind where we know what’s happening tomorrow. India wasn’t the end of it.”
West Indies dropped just one game en route to the final, scoring decisive wins over England in their opening game, deposed champions Sri Lanka and the always dangerous South Africa.
And now just one game away from lifting the T20 World Cup, Simmons said success would mean the world to the Caribbean side.
“It would mean a lot. We would have a trophy to go back home with,” he explained.
“We’d be champions for the second time in three tournaments and I think that’s what it means to the guys: to be champions and to be number one in the world and that’s what you play cricket for.”
West Indies will enter the final with the confidence of having beaten England in their opening game, when Chris Gayle lashed an unbeaten hundred to engineer a seven-wicket victory.
However, Simmons warned that England would pose a different challenge on Sunday.
“There’s a lot of difference because they are a lot more confident now,” he cautioned.
“I think they were a bit tentative in that match because it was the first match. They are a lot more confident. They have beaten quite a few sides to get here so they are going to be tough to beat tomorrow but we’ll make sure that as tough as they are, we’ll try and be tougher than them.”