Photo Credit: Cricket West Indies
West Indies and New Zealand will welcome back fans as they face off in the first of three T20 Internationals on Friday night at Eden park in Auckland. First ball is 7pm (2am Eastern Caribbean/1am Jamaica).
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic fans were not able to attend the three Test matches when the West Indies last played in England in July, but the framework in New Zealand allows for spectators and a full house is expected as both teams starts their journey toward the ICC T20 World Cup, due to be played in a year’s time in India.
Captain Kieron Pollard said his side should use their three-match series as part of their journey towards the next ICC T20 World Cup. West Indies are the reigning world champions and the only international team to have won the title twice since its inception 13 years ago – but they are currently ranked ninth in the ICC T20I Team Rankings.
The Caribbean side have won their last three matches – including two in March this year on the tour of Sri Lanka.
“T20 cricket is a format in which I think we should be performing better and more consistently in terms of a team because we have the necessary guys to do the job,” he said. “We just have to put the pieces of the puzzle together. The plans have been put in place, virtually (for this series). We have the information on the New Zealand opposition from our analyst.” Pollard added: “It’s just a matter of us studying that information (from the analyst) and coming up with plans, and I am looking forward to these challenges (against the Blackcaps).
The two teams have a very exciting history at this venue. Back in 2005 they played to a tie which was decided on the first ever bowl-off, while in 2008 they had another tie which was decided in the first ever super over. In the 2012 T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka, the two teams also played to another tie – which was won by West Indies en route to capturing the WorldCup title.