Darren Sammy, the hero of West Indies’ opening victory in the ICC World Twenty20 on Friday, has put out a rallying call to all fans across the region to follow the lead of the Guyanese and continue to ‘Bring It’ to the tournament.

Speaking after making a match-winning contribution to his side’s 70-run win over qualifier Ireland, Sammy was in no doubt that the crowd would play a big role throughout the tournament.

“It’s important we continue playing well because whenever West Indies win it’s all for the fans,” said the 26-year-old who scored 30 off 17 balls, took 3-8 off 3.4 overs and held four catches on the night.

A full house at the National Stadium in Georgetown witnessed Sammy’s exploits and cheered every run scored and wicket taken by their team, creating a pulsating atmosphere under the floodlights. Sammy says he wants that support to continue throughout the tournament, especially when the West Indies plays in his native St Lucia.

“When we win the fans are happy so I’m urging all the fans wherever cricket is being played to come out and support the tournament. Hopefully when we get down to St Lucia we will have big crowd support, so a big shout out to all the people in the Caribbean to come out and support this World Twenty20.”

Sammy is the first St Lucian to represent the West Indies so he is sure of a hero’s welcome in Beausejour later in the tournament, provided of course his team makes it through to the Super Eight stage. Before that, they will face England in Guyana on Monday (3 May) in front of another sell-out crowd.

Sammy’s sentiments were supported by Dwayne Bravo, the team’s captain on the night. Bravo was standing in for Gayle who picked up a minor injury before the Ireland game.

“The home advantage will play an important part and once our fans get behind us it really gets us going,” said Bravo, who himself took two wickets for just five runs.

“They were a bit disappointed during our warm-up game (against New Zealand), but tonight showed we are a much better team than we showed then. I know for the next game against England there will be another huge crowd and it’s always important. We can use that to our advantage,” he said.