Mirpur: Australian all-rounder James Faulkner has caused a stir at the ICC World Twenty20 by saying he doesn’t like Friday’s opponents the West Indies.
The 23-year-old said he will do everything possible to irritate the defending champions in a bid to make them lose focus.
Faulkner, who is staging a comeback following a knee injury, said on Thursday: “I don’t particularly like them. Nobody in particular. Good players are good players, but you have to do things to get under their skin and try and irritate them to try and get them off their game.
“Players do that to me and I do it to other players, it’s a fact of the game. A lot of it is played in your mind. If you can do something to upset somebody and upset their team, it goes a long way towards doing well as a group.”
Faulkner’s anger stems from an incident last year, when he was fined 10 per cent of his match fee for giving West Indies star batsman Chris Gayle a strong verbal send-off after dismissing him during a one-day match at Canberra.
Referring to Gayle, he said: “There are a few players I would like to knock over and more importantly I’d like to beat them. I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t seen him, but [Gayle] I’ll say ‘hello’ though. I’m always polite. But I won’t be saying ‘hello’ if I’m playing on Friday.”
West Indies skipper Darren Sammy, when asked about Faulkner’s remarks, said it won’t affect the team on the field. “The Australians normally have a lot to say. We are here to play cricket,” he said.
“I think probably James is the only cricketer that does not love West Indians. I could safely say West Indies are the second favourite team for the fans. It does not bother us. Talk is talk. We have got to walk the walk out there on the cricket field. He can say all he wants, we are not bothered by it.”
Sammy, referring to his team’s semi-final victory over Australia in the last Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka, added: “I think the last time we played them in a World Cup we all know what happened.
“We are not threatened by him. Like I said earlier, it is another game of cricket. So far in this tournament we have not played to our full potential. Once we do that, we will be very destructive. We were destructive in that semi-final at the last World Cup.”
Australia vs West Indies, 1.30pm UAE
Bangladesh vs India, 5.30pm UAE
Both games at Mirpur. Live telecast on OSN Sports Cricket HD
Team P W L T NR Pts NetRR
India 2 2 0 0 0 4 +0.363
West Indies 2 1 1 0 0 2 +1.752
Pakistan 2 1 1 0 0 2 +0.077
Australia 1 0 1 0 0 0 -0.800
Bangladesh 1 0 1 0 0 0 -3.650