Pile into experienced West Indies squad to claim World T20 title

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According to the ICC’s rankings, the West Indies are the second-best T20 side in the world, yet five teams have been given a better chance of winning the format’s upcoming World Cup by Ladbrokes.

Immediately there is a disconnect to investigate. Are the side in awful form? Have they selected a scratch squad to compete in India next month? Why are they so unfancied?

In terms of form it can be tough to make a judgement. The side have won just half of their last eight T20 internationals, but the last of those came in November last year. Those eight matches are also the only games the Windies have contested since the end of the last World Cup two years ago.

However, when it comes to the squad that will represent the region there is little doubt that the collection of names assembled deserve a far shorter price.

Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell and Lendl Simmons are among the players selected for the tournament, all of whom spend much of their time travelling the world playing franchise T20 cricket.

While the West Indies struggle in other arenas – they are ranked eighth of 10 in the Test game and ninth of 12 in ODIs – they remain big players in the shortest format because their stars are so experienced in it.

Add to that freelance list of five some of the most talented players from the other forms, like Test skipper Jason Holder and experienced trio Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor and Denesh Ramdin and the Windies have a formidable unit.

A recent record of one title and two semi-final appearances in the last four World T20s is yet another reason to climb into the 9/1 odds that they reign supreme in 2016.

Even the withdrawals of Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Darren Bravo don’t hurt the squad that much.

The all-round talents of Pollard, who is injured, have been replaced by Carlos Brathwaite. The 27-year-old made an impression on the recent tour of Australia with his big-hitting batting style.

Although a substitute for Narine is yet to be announced, Samuel Badree was in the original squad and is fresh from an impressive stint in the Big Bash League. Meanwhile, Bravo never figured to break the first team.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.