West Indies men's white-ball team cricket coach Daren Sammy has asked the supporters of the Caribbean team to "rally round the West Indies" as they look ahead to the visit of England for One-day international (ODI) and Twenty20 international matches in December.
On Monday, a release from Cricket West Indies (CWI) titled Letter to maroon fans from coach Sammy, called on regional fans to bring the flair and pageantry that has become synonymous with cricket in the Caribbean. From December 3, the Windies will host England in three ODIs and five T20Is. The last two matches of the tour will be a pair of T20Is at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, Trinidad on December 19 and 21 respectively.
The former Windies skipper, who led the regional team to a pair of T20 World Cup titles in 2012 and 2016, said he believes the West Indies can achieve greater things.
"Having experienced the joys of playing, I saw how we came together as one when I was your captain," Sammy said. "I welcome you once again to be part of the home team as we face England in the upcoming series.
"Every match; no matter where we play, no matter who we play against; has the ability to create history and a lasting legacy. I know the feeling. We saw it in 2012 in Sri Lanka (at the T20 World Cup) and we witnessed it again in 2016 in India (when we won our second T20 World Cup title)."
Though the Windies have won two T20 World Cup titles, to add to 50-over World Cup victories in 1975 and 1979, the regional team's current standing across the various formats does not make for the prettiest of reading. West Indies are currently ranked eighth in the Test format, tenth in ODIs and seventh in T20Is by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The regional team also failed to qualify for the group phase of the last two major ICC tournaments – the 2022 T20 World Cup and the ongoing 50-over World Cup. As defending champions, the Windies were also knocked out of the 2021 T20 World Cup in the group stage after winning just one of five matches.
Sammy, who was appointed Windies white-ball coach in May 2023, asked the 12th man to come out in full splendour for the festive season.
"I want to urge you to join your 'home' team and rally round the West Indies when WI come home to face England in December. Let's fill the stands with our pride and joy; let's paint the town maroon and have a blessed Christmas season on and off the field."
WI have had good recent history against the English in the Caribbean, as the regional team won a riveting T20I series by a 3-2 margin in January 2022. WI also managed a 1-0 Test series victory over the English in March last year. England, winners of the 2019 50-over World Cup and the 2022 T20 World Cup, were booted out of the ongoing World Cup in India after finishing seventh on the ten-team table in the group stage of the tournament.