Sun | Nov 29, 2020

‘I didn’t expect us to win World Cup’ - WI president Skerritt plays down Windies disaster

Published:Sunday | July 7, 2019 | 12:00 AMLennox Aldred - Sunday Gleaner Writer
Skerritt

President of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Ricky Skerritt says he did not expect the West Indies team to win the World Cup despite the hype and expectations surrounding the team prior to the cricket showpiece.

The Kittitian added that he believed that the team did well under the circumstances, despite finishing second to last in the 10-team competition.

The Windies managed to win their first match against Pakistan and then the last group game of the tournament against Afghanistan to finish on five points.

Skerritt told The Sunday Gleaner that he knew the team would have an “uphill task” in England and that the poor showing of the team came down squarely to a lack of preparation.

“First of all, I will continue to be a proud West Indian fan, and I believe the team did their best under the circumstances. However, I did not expect this group to bring home the trophy because we should have been preparing from four years ago for this tournament. Instead, we were focusing on Test cricket, which we are at the bottom of the ladder,” said Skerritt.

Skerritt hinted that the former administration under Dave Cameron ignored the needs of white ball cricket, and the recent Windies poor performance is as a result of that.

OTHER ISSUES

Meanwhile, veteran regional cricket commentator Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira believes there were other issues before the World Cup began that affected the team’s poor showing.

One of the issues was the full World Cup squad only gathering for a four-day camp in the UK prior to the tournament.

“I believe the Windies should have had all the squad members together from at least a month in advance. We had some players in Ireland and some players sitting on the bench in the IPL. When all the other countries had their squad together from a month in advance, we had players all over the place,” Perreira said.

Perreira also mentioned that he was not in favour of the ‘No Change’ squad policy prior to the World Cup.

“We had some players that were initially picked in the squad who had no form whatsoever going into the tournament. Some were carrying injuries as well. We should have allowed for a window to make changes. Look at Pakistan. They changed their squad and brought in three players late that impacted their team at the tournament,” he added.

Meanwhile, The Sunday Gleaner asked Skerritt about the possible impact of his firing of the previous selection panel led by Courtney Browne and the coaching staff led by Richard Pybus prior to the ICC Cricket World Cup and the hiring of a new chief of selectors and coach in Robert Haynes and Floyd Reifer.

“I don’t think the team would have done any better if we had another coach. I think that is a highly overrated discussion, and we will continue to invest in West Indian coaches, and we will do everything we can to have the best West Indians taking care of our players at all times,” Skerritt rebutted.

There were a few positives derived from the Windies World Cup campaign with the emergence of the talented Trinidadian batsman Nicholas Pooran, who led the team scoring with 367 runs in eight innings with a top score of 118.

On that note, Skerritt says his administration will continue to invest in the youngsters and believes the future looks very bright for the regional team.

“One of the things that we will be doing differently is that we will be investing in the team for the future, and we will be planning and executing our plans way in advance of the next World Cup so that we will not have any chopping and changing,” Skerritt said.