World Twenty20: 'Sky is the limit' for West Indies
Marlon Samuels believes the “sky is the limit” for West Indies cricket following their ICC Twenty20 final win over hosts Sri Lanka.
The Windies' 36-run triumph looked a highly unlikely outcome for much of the match, but in the end Samuels' belligerent 78 from 56 balls turned the match.
Having seen a clutch of his fellow top-order ball-strikers fail to register on a slow but fair pitch he did not panic and pushed his team up to 137 for six - a total which, contrary to expectation, proved far too many for Sri Lanka.
"We haven't won a major title for years now, so I think this is a great achievement for this wonderful team we have here," said Samuels, who was banned by the ICC for two years in 2008 for "receiving money, or benefit or other reward that could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute".
He added: "My career has had its ups and downs - a lot of tough times.
"But I'm not someone that will ever give up.
"The person that I am deep down inside is the reason I'm still here playing cricket.
"I have a family that believe in me. So if outsiders don't, that doesn't really matter to me.
"Being under pressure on a cricket field is nothing compared to what I've been through off the field."
And he is in no doubt either what the Windies' success will mean to so many who were not present.
"The entire Caribbean embrace this. It means the world to us.
"We're here to show the world that West Indies cricket is back.
"The sky is the limit now."
Windies captain Darren Sammy also dedicated the win to the people back home.
"We can definitely cherish this moment - I will for sure - and we can relive it every day of our lives," said Sammy.
"This is the best moment for me in any cricket.
"This is for the Caribbean people, the West Indies fans all over the world.
"They've been craving success. It's party time now from Jamaica down to Guyana - and we know how to party - so they'll need a lot of bartenders."
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene announced afterwards he would be standing down as T20 captain but would remain available in all formats.
He said of this defeat: "It hurts a lot.
"You want to do something special, personally and for the public as well.
"I'm very disappointed for the fans we couldn't give them what we wanted, but I'm very proud of the boys for the way they played the entire tournament.
"Marlon took a gamble after the 12th over. He put his hand up and performed, and at that crucial moment we just couldn't control."
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