(CMC) – Chris Gayle has thrown his weight behind West Indies Women in their bid to recapture the Twenty20 World Cup set to be staged in the Caribbean in November, and he believes the excitement of the Caribbean culture will also make the tournament a success.
Gayle recently attended the Women’s T20 Blaze here and said he had been very impressed with the level of skill and talent demonstrated by the region’s best players. On that account, Gayle believes the Windies can repeat their success.
“(It is) great to be hosting the ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies. I know it’s going to be great in Antigua, St Lucia and Guyana,” said the iconic T20 opener.
“This is great news for our girls and even better to be defending the trophy at home. Was great when we both won (men’s and women’s teams) back in India a few years ago, so you know me, I’m backing them to win it again.”
The tournament, which runs from November 9 to 24, will be the first standalone ICC Women’s World T20 tournament. All matches will be broadcast to the global audience for the first time and the Decision Review System will also be implemented.
The venues are Guyana National Stadium, Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia, and the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua.
West Indies Women are the defending champions, having won their first global title two years ago against Australia on the same day the men’s team beat England in spectacular fashion to make it a day of double celebrations for Caribbean cricket.
“Having been a part of the double championship in India was fantastic,” Gayle said.
“This is a very important tournament for us. I can see from the way they are playing here in the domestic tournament that everyone is motivated to defend that championship for the West Indies.
“They will have the fans backing them and I urge them to enjoy the moment.”
West Indies Women boast a good track record in the event, winning it in 2016 and reaching the semi-finals 2010 in the Caribbean, 2012 in Sri Lanka, and 2014 in Bangladesh.
Gayle said he expected the Caribbean culture of music and merriment would also be a hit for visiting players and television viewers.
“We all know what the Caribbean culture is like and I want to urge the fans to come out and support women’s cricket and the West Indies team. We know how to win titles, and I urge Stafanie (Taylor) and the girls to give their best,” he stressed.
“Stafanie has represented the West Indies really well in the past and she now has a chance to lift the trophy at home. I know she can handle the pressure. She’s had some great performances when it mattered and she has the backing of Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews, Merissa Aguilleria and some other really good players.
“Most of all, I want the fans to give our team 100 per cent support in every match.
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