Cricket-Windies exit with pride after bringing the buzz back to Caribbean cricket

cricket-windies exit with pride after bringing the buzz back to caribbean cricket

Cricket - Second Twenty20 - South Africa v West Indies - SuperSport Park Cricket Stadium, Centurion, South Africa - March 26, 2023 West Indies' Rovman Powell in action REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

(Reuters) - West Indies captain Rovman Powell said his team should take pride in bringing the buzz back to Caribbean cricket during the Twenty20 World Cup, even though they bowed out of the tournament in the Super Eight stage on Sunday.

The co-hosts needed to beat South Africa in Antigua to reach the semi-finals but despite taking the rain-disrupted match down to the wire their bid for a third title came to an end in a three-wicket loss.

"When you look on a large scale, we haven't won the World Cup, we aren't in the semi-finals, but I think the cricket that we've played in the last 12 months or so is commendable," he said.

"Credit has to be given to the team, if you can take a year to move from number nine to number three in the world, that's tremendous work.

"We haven't won the World Cup but there was a lot of improvement and there's a lot of buzz around the Caribbean again about West Indies cricket."

Powell paid tribute to the big, noisy crowds that had turned out around the region for the West Indies matches and for the fans who had shown their support for the team on social media.

"They have been fantastic," he added. "It's good to see that some buzz is back in the Caribbean for the cricket because we know for how long that has died down. And I know people are rallying around the West Indies as they do.

"Now, when we hear the anthem play as players, we feel something, and I think that is heading in the right direction. Credit has to be given to the guys, they fought tonight and they fought throughout the last 12 months."

West Indies have faded as a force since the days of the 1970s and 1980s when they were feared throughout the cricket world and Powell hoped this tournament would mark a turning point.

"Now is where the work starts for us to continue to work as a group still be tight," he said. "And hopefully, just hopefully we can continue to climb the rankings and make the Caribbean people proud."

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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