Jaipur: West Indies skipper Brian Lara says the title victory in the 2004 Champions Trophy provided a massive boost to Caribbean cricket, evoking memories of the world champion side of the 1970s and '80s.
"Winning the 2004 Champions Trophy was a big boost to West Indies cricket," Lara said on Wednesday as the defending champions prepared to take on South Africa in the semi-finals of the biennial tournament that is ranked next only to the World Cup.
Lara said going into the Champions Trophy two years ago the West Indies team was a dejected outfit, after losing heavily in two home-and-away Test series against England.
"We'd lost 7-0 in those two Test series, the boys just wanted to go home," Lara told reporters.
"At that time, we were desperate for a victory, any victory," he said. "We knew that we could be on a flight home the next day."
"Getting through that crunch period, and then proceeding to defeat England in the final provided a tremendous lift to West Indies cricket," said Lara.
The title triumph revived memories of the all-conquering West Indies teams of 1970s and '80s.
The West Indies had won the first two editions of the World Cup in 1975 and 1979 when limited-overs format began gaining in stature, carving out a niche parallel to the traditional Test matches.
Lara conceded that West Indies failed to build on the 2004 title victory.
"Unfortunately, we didn't kick off from there," said Lara, but asserted that it ignited a spark in the team.
"Our boys started believing in themselves," he said.