Ricky Ponting has slammed the West Indies for their meek World Cup showing, as the fall of the once cricket powerhouse was confirmed on Friday night.
The two-time champions were dumped from this year’s World Cup in the first round after a nine-wicket loss to Ireland in Hobart on Friday.
The West Indies had to win to progress to the Super 12 stage. Instead, they’ll watch the second round of the tournament from the sidelines.
Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt declared a “thorough post-mortem” will be conducted and “solutions will be found” following the Caribbean side’s shock early T20 World Cup exit.
Ponting — the three-time ODI World Cup champion — didn’t hold back on Saturday in an interview with reporters ahead of Australia’s T20 opener against New Zealand at the SCG.
“It’s a disgrace as far as I’m concerned. It’s so bad for their cricket,” Ponting said.
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“I think their president has already been out today talking about just how unacceptable it is.
“They’ve got too much talent in that team and in the West Indies cricket not to make it through to the next stage of a World Cup.
“Even one of their main players not making it to the fight to get over here for a World Cup sort of sums up probably these events mean to the West Indies players.
“And if you looked at the way they played, you’d probably say the same thing. (Nicholas) Pooran and these guys, they’re much better players then what we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks.
“So no doubt there’ll be some soul-searching done when they get back, and I reckon the next series they play there will be a lot of different faces in their side because the guys they’re going with now are certainly not getting the job done.”
It’s a far cry from winning the title in 2012 and 2016 and the latest disappointment for the once-powerful Caribbean side.
“I am deeply disappointed with the performance results of our team in Australia and I appreciate the sense of utter frustration that is being experienced by many,” Skerritt said in a statement.
“The ongoing inability of our batsmen to prevail over opposing slow bowling continued to be an obvious weakness in Australia, and untimely shot selections seem to be deeply embedded in the T20 batting culture of our senior team.”
The West Indies came into the tournament in Australia with a new-look team led by Nicholas Pooran after the likes of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard retired. Andre Russell was overlooked.
Skerritt, who’s been Cricket West Indies President since 2019 after an extended team manager stint previously, suggested no stone would be left unturned when assessing the team’s exit.
“A thorough post-mortem will be carried out on all aspects of our World Cup preparation and performance, and that solutions will be found in keeping with CWI’s strategy to improve the quality and sustainability of cricket on all fronts, and in all formats,” he said.
“West Indies cricket is bigger than any one individual or event, and continues to need the input and support of all stakeholders.”
Ponting said he held out hope the West Indies could produce fast bowlers to rival the greats of the 20th century but feared for their short-term future, including the upcoming Australian summer where they will play two Tests Down Under.
“I was anyway (concerned), to be honest,” he said. “I didn’t need to see that to make me more worried about the first couple of Test matches.
“Interestingly, mainly at home, but they’ve actually found a way to be reasonably competitive on the Test front with (Kraigg) Braithwaite and (Jason) Holder’s done a really good job and looks like a good leader.
“But they’re going to have to find a few lengths if they’re going to compete against the Aussies. The current group that the Australians have got, if you line them up on paper there’s no way that they can compete, cricket’s a funny game. But they’re going to have to play out of their skins to make even the first two Tests entertaining.”
Disciplined bowling restricted the West Indies to 146-5, with Gareth Delany taking a career-best 3-16, before the Irish romped to their target for the loss of just one wicket with 15 balls to spare.
Head coach Phil Simmons said post-match on Friday his West Indies team “didn’t turn up” and it was back to the drawing board
“We started well with the bat, but we just didn’t continue,” Simmons said.
“I think when you sum it up, we were outplayed in all departments today. They bowled well. We batted well at the start but didn’t carry on, and they just batted well and batted us out of the game.
“We’ve worked hard. We’ve prepared well. It’s just on the day, we haven’t done the correct things. We haven’t assessed the situation properly of the day and done what’s necessary for the situation.
“I don’t think there was disrespect on our part. We prepared like if we were playing anyone else.”
Reflecting on the West Indies’s dramatic fall from the top, Simmons said: “We have the batsmen, the capabilities, we just haven’t been putting it together.
“Our bowlers are showing up nine out of 10 times, but the batters haven’t really shown up.
“We’ve got to go back and look at our structure and how we play the game and make sure that when we come to competitions and when we play in bilateral series we are ready and able to do what’s necessary for each situation of the game.”
— with AFP