Champions Trophy: Leave dismal England tour behind, urges Samuels

Cardiff (Wales), May 30 (IANS/CMC) Stroke-maker Marlon Samuels says the West Indies' campaign in the ICC Champions Trophy should not be focused on burying the demons from the dismal 2012 tour of England.

The West Indies suffered a heavy drubbing last year, failing to win a single international as they lost the Test, one-day and Twenty20 series. Their only win came over a weakened Middlesex side in a 50-over affair.

Samuels, the stand-out batsman on that tour, said the regional side needed to put those failures behind them and focus their energies on winning the Champions Trophy.

"A few of the players will be going back to England and I guess they will have it in their mind they have a second chance to go and deliver," Samuels told CMC Sports.

"They will be tough conditions but we are not going there over-confident. But we are going there with enough power in the fast bowling and batting and all-round. The rest of players will rally around the players that are doing well and that's what makes the strength of the team.

"I don't think we should worry about who failed the last time we were in England, we should be worrying about how do we pull it together as a team and take this tournament home."

The West Indies will do battle in Group B alongside India, Pakistan and South Africa when the tournament gets going June 6-23 in England and Wales.

Group A comprise Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and hosts England, with the two top teams from each group progressing to the semi-finals.

The West Indies will be led by new captain Dwayne Bravo who has replaced Darren Sammy as one-day skipper.

And Samuels believes even though Bravo does not possess much captaincy experience, he can still have a huge positive influence on the Windies unit.

"Dwayne has a lot of experience but he hasn't captained a lot of games but sometimes it doesn't matter if you've been captaining a team for your entire life. Once you're somebody that can lead - if you're a natural leader - you will just be a leader," Samuels said.

"For now it is not about focussing on Bravo and the extra pressure he will have, it's about me rallying around [him] and giving him the full support and helping the West Indies win a next major title to put a smile on the faces of people who are struggling right now in their own lives.

"There are a lot of people who still like to see us play cricket including the teams that play against us."

With the tournament being played in June, much has been made of the wet, chilly conditions which usually are the hallmark this time of the year in England and Wales.

The conditions made life difficult for the Windies on their 2012 tour but Samuels said the team needed to approach the assignment positively.

"We should not be worried about going to England," said the 32-year-old right-hander.

"Yes, they are tough conditions to play cricket but as long we come together and put our game together and play as a team, the rest of teams should be worried about us."

--IANS/CMC

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