Cricket World Cup 2011

Coach blames senior Windies

2011-03-23 20:13
Chris Gayle (File)

Dhaka - The senior West Indies players came under strong criticism from their coach on Wednesday after the Caribbean team crashed out of the World Cup on the back of its third straight batting collapse.

The West Indies team was bowled out for 112 on Wednesday, and Pakistan cruised to a 10-wicket win in an embarrassingly lopsided quarterfinal.

The result means the West Indies, winners of the first two World Cups, are without a limited-overs international win over a higher-ranked team in more than two years.

Coach Ottis Gibson said senior players had to take their share of the blame. Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan didn't live up to expectations during the tournament.

"It's hard to say whether they've played their last game," Gibson said. "We've got four or five weeks (until a home series against Pakistan) to sit down and decide which direction we're heading, whether we're going to continue to pin our hopes on some of those senior guys or move some on and get some youngsters in."

Gayle, 31, returned from injury to open the batting against Pakistan on Wednesday but fell for eight. The 36-year-old Chanderpaul, recalled after his poor form led to him being dropped for the final two game of the group stage, was not out 44 from 106 balls.

Sarwan, 30, added 24, but none of the players could inspire their younger teammates to dig in against Pakistan's spin attack.

"I don't think it's strong criticism, it's the facts," Gibson said. "The fact is that the senior players haven't performed. I'm not criticising anyone, I'm just saying what happened.

"What happened was that when the going got tough, we didn't stand up to it."

Gibson highlighted the fact that while three players made their international debut at this World Cup, Chanderpaul was at his fifth World Cup, and Gayle and Sarwan at their third.

However, Gibson said abandoning all the senior players would be unwise. The Windies coach said he wanted at least one of his more experienced players to play the role Sachin Tendulkar performs for India.

"A lot of our players need only to look at someone like Sachin Tendulkar," he said. "He's the sort of senior statesman in the Indian team but he also seems to be the hungriest guy of the lot.

"He gets runs every time almost he goes out to bat and India can rely on him. We need to be able to rely on our players the way India rely on him."

West Indies was a perennial contender at the World Cup in the 1970s and the 1980s, when players like Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards struck fear into the hearts of the opposition.

Against Pakistan on Wednesday, the team's batting collapsed alarmingly for the third straight game. At one stage, they were 71-8 after losing four wickets in nine balls.

"The wicket didn't get anybody out. It wasn't a bad wicket. It was a combination of poor batsmanship and perhaps very low confidence," Gibson said. "You can do so much in the nets to build confidence.

"It comes down to individuals taking responsibility and having the belief in themselves and in their preparation and going out and performing."

Gibson said the West Indies selectors would take some "serious decisions" before the series against Pakistan.

"West Indies cricket for the last 10 years has been pretty much the same. And also they've been the same players," he said. "This tournament has seen the emergence of a quite a few good young players and those young players are the players we will build our future on."


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