Windies need to win back fans – Rawl Lewis
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CMC):
Windies team manager Rawl Lewis says the Caribbean men will not be underestimating Sri Lanka in their three-match One-Day International (ODI) series starting here on Saturday but will be focused on winning the series and regaining the support of fans across the region.
Five years after a 3-0 whitewash in their last tour there, a “fit” Windies team will be trying to secure their first ever ODI series win in Sri Lanka.
Windies lost their opening warm-up match in Colombo on Tuesday, going down by two wickets to a Sri Lanka Cricket XI. They will take on a Sri Lanka Board President’s XI today in their last tour match before facing a strong Sri Lanka side in the opening ODI.
Speaking on the Mason & Guest radio show, Lewis said he is satisfied with the preparation ahead of this weekend’s game and believes that the 15-man squad is ready for the task ahead.
“All personnel have been working hard to prepare the team,” Lewis said. “We have no concern at this time. I really think that everything is in place. We have a few days to continue our preparation leading up to the first match. Everyone seems to be in high spirits. Everyone is fit and ready.”
He said that it was important for the Kieron Pollard-led team to end the series on a winning note, particularly to get people rallying around the Windies again.
“We have been playing very good cricket lately,” he said. “We went to India and we didn’t win every match … but we competed well with India, which is a very powerful team. We are never going to underestimate Sri Lanka. We played Ireland in the Caribbean; we won. We want to continue to win cricket. We need to develop this habit of winning matches and winning series. We would want to win every match that we play, and we understand that winning would bring back the fans to cricket, would encourage the people of the Caribbean to play more cricket.
“So we need to continue to win as the senior team and just make sure that we get people back supporting West Indies cricket. As long as we keep winning, they keep supporting,” he said.
The Grenadian, who first managed the team during its successful ICC Twenty20 World Cup run in India in 2016 before returning to the position in February 2018, stressed that the management of the Caribbean side would keep fighting to get Windies cricket back to where it needs to be.
“We will never give up hope on West Indies cricket,” he said. “We are here, we are working every day, we do whatever we need to do to ensure the players are well prepared to represent West Indies at the highest level. So we want to win every match no doubt about it,” he assured.