– “The feeling is great, words cannot explain; it’s something we always wanted to achieve”
By Akeem Greene
Sunday April 3, 2016, will always be a significant day in the history of West Indies Cricket, as it was the day both the Men and Women’s teams won the ICC World T20 tournament in India.
One of the players who basked in the glory of that momentous day was Guyanese Tremayne Smartt, who is still is overjoyed at the Caribbean’s side success.
Speaking to Guyana Times Sport Smartt revealed, “The feeling is great, words cannot explain; it’s something we always wanted to achieve.”
The West Indies Women’s team would have made it to the semi-finals of the World T20 before, but never got further. Smartt explained that even before the tournament started, she knew they would win.
“I was very confident because I did an interview in Berbice before I left and I said that we would win the World Cup and we did just that,” Smartt pointed out.
She added that the key factors in winning were the support and self-belief they had as a team and most significantly “we had a motto, “moving in faith.”
The charisma of the West Indian players has made them major crowd attraction in the cricketing-loving country India.
The 30-year-old explained that “the support was great and sometimes you won’t be able to hear your own self as everyone was on the top of their voices, calling names and just supporting us; it was great to see a different country supporting us.”
Having reached this stage of the tournament for the first time, and playing at the Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata, which has a seating capacity of over 66,000, the medium-fast bowler jovially said that the feeling was simply surreal.
“The feel of playing at that Stadium was great, especially when you sit and look at the outfield and the excited fans,” she recalled.
One of the most memorable moments of the day was the iconic celebrations that usually correspond with West Indian success and the World T20 champions relished the chance to celebrate the success with the Men’s team after they won the title later in night.
The Berbican stated, “That feeling was really great, we actually ran down the stairs as quickly as we can, even faster than how we would do our basic warm-up; it was amazing.”
The right-arm bowler, who has taken 38 T20 wickets at an average of 19.10 and economy rate of 5.43, was honoured by the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) on Monday.
She was the recipient of a special chain made of gold.
“I appreciate what they [GCB] have done for us and it’s something that they need to continue doing, not only for us, but the males as well,” she said.
Have played 53 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and 56 T20 Internationals for the Caribbean side, the player plans to teach the upcoming cricketers that they must work hard if they want to achieve success.
“The thoughts I will instill in the young ones that are coming-up is that, just continue working hard, especially fitness-wise and stick to the basics as that always remain the same,” the World Champion advised.
Smartt is set to be in action when the Regional Women’s 50-over tournament bowls off in Guyana in July and also when the English Women are set for a tour of the West Indies later this year.