KINGSTON, Jamaica – Coach of the West Indies cricket team, Bennett King, has emphasized that the team would be focused on winning their final Group Stage match against Ireland on March 23.
This is although the team has become the first to qualify for the Super Eight Stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007.
“We are going to treat it like a Super Eight game and it is really an important match for us, because we want to go through as number one and carry two points for it,” he told journalists at a press conference, following the West Indies defeat of Zimbabwe Monday, March 19 at Sabina Park.
In fact, he pointed out that if the West Indies played to the best of their capabilities, they should come out on top.
“They have got three Australians that we are familiar with, as my assistant coach has actually played and coached in New South Wales and looked after some of those fellows, so we have a reasonable understanding [of them] and know what their capabilities are,” Coach King added.
Trent Johnston, Jeremy Bray and David Langford-Smith are some of the players that comprise this group. “They were very good players in Australia, so obviously they are going to be reasonably good players here as well,” Mr. King said.
However, he was quick to note that his team was not leaving anything to chance. “I do not know that Ireland [have] played above expectation, but they have a sound bowling attack and their top five obviously have done the job for them in the associate competition and .scored some runs,” he acknowledged, adding that on off match days, the team was tuned in to all the matches, doing their homework to ensure optimum preparation.
“I think Ireland beat [us] two or three years back in Ireland with a lot of these players as well,” he reminded.
Commenting on the health status of Captain Brian Lara for the next match, Coach King informed that he was fine and that he did receive treatment after the match. “He is fine and he would not miss it for the world. If you chopped his leg off, he will still play,” he quipped.
As for changes in the squad for the March 23 match, Coach King informed that the team would include some new players. “We have certainly discussed this and we are pretty sure in which direction we are going now,” he said, while refusing to disclose the changes.
The Super Eight matches will be played in Barbados, Guyana, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda from March 27 to April 21.