Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting has ripped into the West Indies following their early exit from the T20 World Cup, labelling the side’s performance a “disgrace”.
The West Indies failed to qualify for the Super 12 stage of the tournament after suffering heavy defeats to Scotland and Ireland in Hobart this week.
On Friday, Ireland chased down the 147-run target at Blundstone Arena with nine wickets and 15 balls to spare, prematurely knocking the two-time T20 World Cup champions out of the competition.
The West Indies were expected to finish top of their group, but will instead return home following their worst result in Men’s T20 World Cup history.
It’s a stunning fall from grace for a side that won the tournament in India six years ago; the West Indies have lost six of the eight T20 World Cup matches they have played since their 2016 triumph.
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“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,” Cricket West Indies president Ricky 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.
“I want to assure stakeholders that 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.
“West Indies cricket is bigger than any one individual or event and continues to need the input and support of all stakeholders.”
Speaking to reporters at the SCG on Saturday evening, Ponting called out West Indies batter Shimron Hetmyer, who was dropped from the T20 World Cup squad after intentionally missing his flight to Australia.
“It‘s a disgrace,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s so bad for their cricket.
“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 flight to get over here sort of sums up probably how little these events mean to the West Indies players, and if you look at the way that they played, you‘d say the same thing.
“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.”
Speaking to reporters in the post-match press conference, West Indies coach Phil Simmons confessed his team “didn’t turn up” on Friday.
“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. “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.”
The West Indies will face Australia in a two-match Test series this summer, with the first fixture scheduled to get underway at Perth Stadium on November 30.
“They’re going to have to find a few lengths if they’re going to compete against the Aussies,” Ponting said. “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.”
Sources: ‘Disgrace’: Ricky Ponting savages West Indies after early T20 World Cup exit