KINGSTON, Jamaica – West Indies captain Brian Lara, has said he was pleased with the performance of his team, which defeated Pakistan in the first ICC World Cup Cricket (CWC) match held at Sabina Park Tuesday, March 13.
Speaking to journalists at the post match press conference, Lara said that “all in all it was a good team performance on the field, and I think it will give the guys a lot of confidence going forward”.
He noted also that, “there was a great team spirit. I think you would have to be out there to understand how we felt. It was the biggest crowd for a cricket match in Sabina Park and it’s the opening of the World Cup. It was a tremendous atmosphere and you saw the spirit, the camaraderie and the togetherness, which was excellent”.
Meanwhile, Pakistani captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said that his team must perform well in their next two first round matches against Ireland and Zimbabwe. “Our middle order is very experienced and we really should have done better, but now they will have to take more responsibility as we move ahead in the tournament,” he said.
He noted however that despite the loss, his bowlers did very well. “I was satisfied restricting the West Indies to 241. I think we should have got the runs but on this occasion, it just didn’t happen. It was definitely a gettable score. We thought we could have chased those runs and we should have, but that is how the game goes sometimes”.
West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Smith, who took a hat trick of wickets and scored 32 quick runs, was named the man of the match. Dwayne told journalists that he was pleased with his performance.
“It was a great start for me personally, but I think it was a solid team performance, and one that will give us plenty of confidence as we look towards the remainder of the tournament,” he stated.
He further noted that, “I just decided to stay focused, go out there and get some runs on the board fast and it paid off. The thing now is to go on and continue to do well for my country”.
In the meantime, Lennox Alfred, a volunteer at the match, said that he was very pleased to be offering his services. “It is an opportunity to meet a lot of people, especially the international journalists. However, the best part of all is getting a chance to watch the cricket.”
The surviving members of the victorious West Indies cricket teams, which won the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1975 and 1979, were recognized at a brief on-field ceremony before the start of the cricket match.
Jamaica will host six first-round matches in the ICC CWC, in addition to a semi-final match on April 24.