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WHAT A FEELING

Winning World Cup a tremendous experience, says Badree

By Roger Seepersad roger.seepersad@trinidadexpress.com

"It's a feeling that will live with me for the rest of my life."

That's how Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies spinner Samuel Badree described the euphoria that came with the regional team's triumph in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup final, in Sri Lanka two Sundays ago.

Speaking with the media after returning from South Africa following T&T's Champions League T20 exit, Badree said being part of a World Cup winning team was a "tremendous experience" and one he will cherish.

"Obviously I did not start in the tournament, but when I did get my opportunity I knew I had to grasp it with both hands," said Badree, who was greeted by family members at Piarco International Airport on Saturday.

"Luckily and thankfully things worked out for me. Getting that wicket of (Kumar) Sangakarra in the final, we knew that he was somebody who could bat through the innings and it was an important wicket to get, and luckily I was the one to get it and it worked out for me," he added.

The 31-year-old leg-spinner, who only made his West Indies T20 debut in June this year, said the team always had the belief they could win, even after a poor start with the bat. They were 87 for four in the 16th over.

In the end, it was Marlon Samuels' 78 off 56 balls, who led them to a competitive 137 for six.

"We had a very poor start in terms of the batting but we had the belief we could go out there and defend whatever total we got," Badree explained.

"Obviously it was difficult playing against Sri Lanka in their home conditions, but we had the belief and with every wicket that fell, the belief grew more and more," he added.

After the World Cup, Badree jumped 46 places up the ICC T20 ranking list for bowlers to reach 47th spot, but the PowerGen Sports skipper was not paying too much attention to that.

He also played down the possibility of forcing his way into the West Indies One-day squad for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh, or even getting a lucrative T20 contract in one of the many T20 leagues around the world.

"At the end of the day our job, our focus was to win the World Cup and we did that. I don't really focus on those (other) things. If it (a lucrative T20 contract) comes, I will be happy, but at the end of the day I can only perform and whatever comes my way I will be contented with it," said Badree.

"I concentrate on my performance, and whatever comes at the end of it I will take it with both hands. I can only do what I can do. Whenever those opportunities come I will grasp it," he added.

Speaking about T&T's performance in the Champions League T20, Badree said: "It is a bit disappointing that Trinidad and Tobago did not make it to the main draw of the Champions League, and I think we need to look at the drawing board a bit more and come better the next time around."

About the format of the tournament, Badree said: "We have a Champions League where the English champions are out, the West Indian champions are out, the Pakistan champions are out and of course the Sri Lankan champions are out, and it is still called a Champions League.

"We have been preparing for four to five months, and some of the guys did not have an opportunity to bowl or bat one ball so it is very difficult. We knew the format of the competition, and it is unfortunate, but I guess that is how it is sometimes."

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