“We had difficult periods [in the last two years], but we had signs of progress,” Gibson said. “If you look at the talent that we have, specially in this format, the power of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Marlon Samuels, the experience of Dwayne Bravo, the brilliance of Sunil Narine, the accuracy of Ravi Rampaul, the way the captain led, it was always the case of if we can harness all that talent and put it in the right direction.”
West Indies have not been able to field their strongest side in the recent past because of various disputes but came into the tournament as one of the contenders and lived up to their promise by winning the World T20 title.
“It is an amazing thing when players come together for one cause. They all believed in the cause, they all believed that they could win the world cup when we left.”
West Indies’ win against Sri Lanka in the final gave them their first world title since 1979 and their first major trophy since 2004. Gibson said that there are lessons to be learnt from the long wait for a major trophy.
“Clive Lloyd led [the team] to wins in two World Cups and to the final of the third, [they were] great feats. Then for the suffering that has gone on since then and for the last 20 years, to be able to come and lift the trophy, to stay the course, and to ride out the tough times, it is amazing. It shows that if all the talent in the region sticks together, there is more success like this round the corner.”
The West Indies team has showed constant signs of progress under the leadership of Darren Sammy who’s place in the team has always been questioned. Gibson, who has forged a solid partnership with the captain, reserved special praise for him.
“The captain is always going to be under pressure, so is the coach,” he said. “Sammy stayed calm and true to himself with all the stuff going around and focused on cricket. He didn’t get a chance to perform any great heroics, but he led the team very well. He led the team to victory.
“The team itself followed him, were happy to be led by him, they took directions from him. At the end of the day, it is not about one person, it is about 15 players and 9 management people who left home together to go and win the world cup.”
However, Gibson was disappointed about not being able to celebrate the win back home with the fans as a number of players are playing in the Champions League T20 in South Africa. Although, he didn’t get to spend much time with the players after the win, he advised them to reflect on the role they played in the win and emphasised that West Indies could be a stronger force if they stayed together as a team.
The focus will soon shift from T20s to Test cricket, the pinnacle of cricket according to Gibson, when West Indies tour Bangladesh to play two Tests in November.
“Test cricket is still the pinnacle for me. There were lot of players who didn’t get an opportunity in this T20 World Cup, who are looking forward to playing in the two test matches in Bangladesh.”