The West Indies completed a clean sweep of the Digicel Test Series when they beat New Zealand by six wickets at Sabina Park, Jamaica on Sunday. They started the two-match rubber with an emphatic nine-wicket win at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua.
Earlier in the tour the West Indies easily won both matches in the Digicel T20 Series at the Central Broward Regional Park in south Florida. They were equally dominant with a 4-1 result in the five-match Digicel One-Day Series at Sabina Park and Warner Park, St Kitts.
In the International Cricket Council’s Rankings announced on Wednesday, the West Indies have made strides and gained points since the start of the year. They moved up to fifth spot in T20s with 111 rankings points. The Windies are at Number 7 in ODIs with 94 rankings points, and also at Number 7 in Tests with 90 rankings points.
“I will say to the players to take belief from the work they are putting in because I see the work they are putting in every day. The players are working hard and deserve their success. I want to give them credit. They deserve to be excited about their achievements,” Gibson said.
Richardson noted: “I am very proud of Darren Sammy and the boys with the way they played in all three formats against New Zealand. The hard work, the dedication, the sacrifice and the desire to improve have paid dividends. These are some of the building blocks as we look to build a strong West Indies team. Lots of credit must also be given to Coach Gibson and the entire management staff, who are all contributing to the development of a strong West Indies Team. ”
Gibson started work as the Windies’ Head Coach in March 2010. Richardson, a former West Indies captain and batting legend, joined the regional side as Team Manager in January 2011, and the team has demonstrated steady improvement.
Assessing the recent performances, Gibson said: “It feels very good. It feels sweet, if that’s the right word… To win two Test matches in a row is a good achievement, something we have not done in a while. If you look back at this series – the T20s and the One-Dayers and the Tests – you will have to agree that we dominated all three formats. It gives you the belief in what you’re doing to say, yes, actually you are on the right track…This win certainly gives me the confidence in what I’m doing and the determination to keep doing it and press forward.”
The 2-0 Test series win was the West Indies’ first series victory since they beat Bangladesh 1-0 away from home last October. The last home series win was against England in 2009 when Chris Gayle’s team won 1-0 to take the prestigious Wisden Trophy.
The last time the West Indies won back-to-back Test matches was in Bangladesh a decade ago, under the captaincy of Ridley Jacobs. The last series win over New Zealand was at home back in 1996 with Courtney Walsh at the helm.