Windies coach sees England series as crucial to ICC World Twenty20 defence

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Thursday February 27, 2014, CMC – Head Coach Ottis Gibson has described the limited overs series against England starting this weekend as important to the West Indies preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh starting next month.

The Windies cricketers arrived in Antigua Monday afternoon and had a full training session on Tuesday morning at the match venue, the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

“We’re building toward the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh and that’s important for us, but this series is also very important for us,” Gibson told reporters.

“We will play this series as One-Day Internationals, because that is what they are, and we will play hard and tough cricket and look to beat England. We haven’t played great One-Day cricket over the last six to eight months so we have to try and treat these games as they are try and win them for sure.”

The recent series between New Zealand and West Indies ended 2-2 with the Caribbean side winning the final match to level the series.

In the final match West Indies made a record 363-4 to win by 202 runs. One match was washed out.

“We’re at home so hopefully we will benefit from home advantage. We went to New Zealand recently with a depleted side and we managed to level that series and we came away thinking that we could have won it,” Gibson said.

“Hopefully we can come out and entertain our fans and give them something to smile about because we have not given them much to smile about recently in this format.”

The upcoming series against England starts on Friday, with the second match carded for Sunday and the third match next Wednesday.

Following the ODIs, the two teams will play a three-match Twenty20 Series in Barbados as part of preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 Tournament to be played in Bangladesh.

West Indies are the defending champions. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)