West Indies will attempt to build on their unexpected progress to the ICC World Twenty20 semi-finals when they return to the Caribbean for their next series in a packed calendar.
It was enough of a turnaround in fortunes for West Indies to fly home in optimistic mood as they begin planning for the next World Twenty20 tournament in the Caribbean next April.
‘I’m happy for them to use this as a learning experience because no doubt, with the next Twenty20 in the Caribbean, it’ll be good for us to use this as a learning experience and we hope to capitalise on home advantage,’ said captain Chris Gayle.
But their reward for turning their fortunes around is barely a few days’ rest before they start a four-match one-day series against India, who have had a similar break, starting in Jamaica on Friday.
West Indies could be without captain Gayle, who has been struggling with an ankle injury for weeks, while fast bowler Fidel Edwards misses out after pulling his back midway through the World Twenty20.
The short one-day series against India is part of an action-packed programme for West Indies, who also host Bangladesh for two Tests, three one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international in July and August.
They are then given around six weeks off before they fly to Australia, who they will face in three Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals finishing in late February before they build up to the next World Twenty20 event.
Although the schedule is punishing, Gayle is relishing the chance to play against India on home soil, stressing: ‘I’m looking forward to that.
‘I’m really proud of the guys for reaching the semi-finals. It will be another tough series against India but hopefully we can give the Caribbean something to cheer about.
‘We did well to reach the semi-final and we’re proud. I can’t fault the guys. We haven’t restored the honour of West Indies cricket but there’s a better smile on West Indies fans’ faces.’