Tuesday, 25 October 2022 16:58

West Indies elimination a 'disgrace', says Aussie great

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Former Australia Captain Ricky Ponting has slammed West Indies' premature exit from the Twenty20 World Cup as a "disgrace" and has questioned the players' desire to represent the Caribbean side at global events.

Speaking prior to the Super 12 main draw opener between Australia and New Zealand on Saturday, Ponting said the result was damaging for West Indies cricket overall, especially with the side being two-time former champions.

"It's a disgrace. It's so bad for their cricket. They've got too much talent in that team and in West Indies cricket not to be able to make it through to the next stage of a World Cup," the Test and ODI legend was quoted as saying.

"And even one of their main players [Shimron Hetmyer] not making it to the flight to get over here for a World Cup… to me this 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.

"[Nicholas] Pooran and these guys, they're much better players than what we've seen over the last couple of weeks, so no doubt there'll be some soul-searching done when they get back."

Brandon King was the only batsman with a half-century in the tournament, his unbeaten 62 in the crucial do-or-die qualifier against Ireland going in vain as West Indies slumped to a chastening nine-wicket defeat in Hobart on Friday.

Veteran Johnson Charles, who scored 45 in the 31-run win over Zimbabwe last Wednesday, finished with 69 runs to join King as the only two batsmen to muster an aggregate of over 50 runs.

Captain Pooran gathered 25 runs from his three innings, underscoring the anaemic batting which afflicted West Indies in the three qualifiers.

"They'll be as disappointed as anyone. It's easy for me to stand here and say that it's a disgrace that they haven't made it, but they'll be hurting as much as anybody," Ponting pointed out.

"They would have had big thoughts and dreams coming here and they haven't played anywhere near well enough to even progress. So they have got some work to do."

And with West Indies returning Down Under next month for a two-Test series in Perth and Adelaide, Ponting expressed concerns about their ability to compete with a very strong home side.

"They're going to have to find a few lengths if they're going to compete against the Aussies with the current group that the Australians have got," he said.

"If you just line them up on paper there's no way you think that they could compete. Cricket's a funny game, but they're going to have to play out of their skins, I think, to make the first two Tests entertaining."