WI performance 'no reflection' of team spirit - Richardson
SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):
Team manager Sir Richie Richardson was at a loss yesterday to explain West Indies' listless performance in their opening official warm-up match for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup.
The Caribbean produced a feeble all-round effort to crash to a nine-wicket defeat to England at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday, but Sir Richie said the showing had nothing to do with the lack of enthusiasm in the squad.
"Our plan is to gradually ease into the World Cup. We don't want to peak too early. We've prepared well, we've had a few days here in Sydney preparing," Sir Richie said afterward.
"The guys have enjoyed the preparation and have been working very, very hard, and the performance tonight is no reflection of how we've been training or anything to do with the mood in the camp.
"It is just very strange that England got the better of us in that particular way. I know people will want to know what is going on, but I can safely say that the guys have been playing well and they have been in a very good mood. It's just one of those things."
Opting to bat first in bowler-friendly conditions, West Indies crashed for 122 all out off 29.3 overs, with Lendl Simmons top scoring with 45 and opener Dwayne Smith getting 21. They were the only batsmen to pass 20 and two of only four to reach double figures.
Opener Chris Gayle and stroke-maker Darren Bravo both fell for first ball 'ducks' off successive deliveries in the first over.
In reply, England cruised, with opener Moeen Ali hammering an aggressive 46 off 43 deliveries with nine fours.
Sir Richie said West Indies would assess the performance and look to improve in coming games.
"Obviously, it wasn't a very good start, but it's not about the start, it's about the finish. Obviously, we're disappointed with our performance today, and we will review and come back," he stressed.
"Hopefully, you won't see a performance like this again from us."
West Indies take on Scotland on Thursday at the same venue in their second and final warm-up.