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Colombo: West Indies captain Darren Sammy hailed Sunday's World Twenty20 triumph, their first world title in 33 years, as the start of a new golden chapter for Caribbean cricket.
"This is just the start, we will go far," Sammy said, after the 36-run victory over Sri Lanka in a dramatic final in Colombo.
The West Indies, restricted to 137-6 after electing to bat, hit back to bowl the hosts out for 101 in front of 35,000 spectators at the Premadasa stadium that included Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse.
It was the first world title for the West Indies since the 50-over World Cup triumph under Clive Lloyd in 1979, although they won the invitational Champions Trophy in England in 2004.
Sammy's men handed Sri Lanka their fourth defeat in a major final since 2007.
"This is the start of something special for the West Indies team and the fans back home," said Sammy.
"I will always cherish this moment. The team has been through a lot in the past few years, but there was belief amongst us that we could win the World T20.
"Today we were down and out, but our never-say-die attitude came out. We expected Sri Lanka to come hard at us and they did, but we never gave up and that helped us win."
Sammy said people back home will celebrate the win wildly because they had craved for years for a success like this.
"From Jamaica to Guyana the party must have started," he said. "And I tell you we know how to party. I am sure they will need a lot of bartenders out there tonight."
Sammy showered praise on middle-order batsman Marlon Samuels, who engineered the victory with a superb 78 off 56 balls that included six sixes and three boundaries.
"He has been brilliant in this tournament and lived up to our expectations," said Sammy of Samuels, who served a two-year-ban from 2008 to 2010 for alleged links with bookmakers.
Samuels' brilliant strokeplay, which earned him the man of the match award, helped the West Indies add 105 runs in the last 10 overs after they were reduced to 32-2 from the first 10.