Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - We gave it our best shot and our best shot was not good enough: Pollard. 'We set out some good moments to think about and cherish, but overall, as a campaign, it has been difficult'
'We set out some good moments to think about and cherish, but overall, as a campaign, it has been difficult'
The 2021 T20 WC campaign never took off for the defending champions. Despite fielding a relatively older side [in terms of average age] the Kieron Pollard-led West Indies team still lined up as one of the strongest contenders for the title.
The eight-wicket loss against Australia on Saturday, in many ways, summed up West Indies' underwhelming campaign. A three-run win against Bangladesh notwithstanding, they never threatened to even challenge the other teams in what was the group of death in the competition.
Pollard conceded that the idea to bring in a host of experienced players didn't work out despite the team giving its best efforts. “We brought in seniors and experienced players in this campaign,” Pollard said after the loss against Australia, which ended West Indies' campaign in UAE.
“We thought we are going to be the ones to get us over line to try to get a title, and it didn't happen. These things happen. It's not the first time you don't qualify in a tournament or anything like that, and it's not the first time guys would have failed throughout the campaign. We gave it our best shot and our best shot was not good enough, and we accept that. So it's about moving on now and trying to rebuild from here and using the knowledge of some of these guys and the youngsters to come. So let's see what happens in the future.”
Five cricketers in the West Indian squad – Chris Gayle, Pollard, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo and Ravi Rampaul – are 33 years and above, while three others – Jason Holder, Evin Lewis and Roston Chase – are around the 30-year mark.
However, even as some of the most high-profile names in the team under-performed, Pollard defended their contribution and was quick to add that they cannot be judged or chastised on the basis of one tournament. “It has been a disappointing (campaign),” he admitted. “Having said that, some things were meant to be and some things were not meant to be and this is one of them.
“As I also said, this is an opportunity for us to think about what some of the guys in our dressing room would have done for West Indies cricket over a generation in the last ten years or so. We have not just done it in the Caribbean, we have done it all over the world and changed the face of T20 cricket when everyone thought that it was going to be another sort of hit-and-giggle.
“We set out some good moments to think about and cherish, but overall, as a campaign, it has been difficult, and these things happen. One tournament doesn't make cricketers bad people. I don't like the idea of chastising and some of the words and some of the things being said because of a campaign.
“At the end of the day, we are sportsmen and we come out and give our heart and every time we step on the cricket field, I can assure that 100 percent was given but it was not meant to be.”
Pollard also implored the younger cricketers to not get carried away by their performances in the Caribbean Premier League, and look to excel in more competitive environments around the world. He added that there isn't a dearth of talent in the Caribbean island to replace the likes of Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle but urged the younger players to show the same hunger to excel in more competitive environments.
“For me personally, (the message to the younger players is to) just tell them that CPL is not the be-all and end-all,” he confessed. “There's a lot of higher, better, sort of cricket around the world. And as individuals, we need to lift our standards and not settle and be content.
“My message would be ‘we have to work harder and we need to put in a lot of thought in what we do, and again, be disciplined in what we do'. I think we have a mindset at times to be content but as I said, coming to CPL, dominating CPL is not the be-all and end-all. You need to come and try to dominate on the world stage and the world stage is at World Cups, IPL team, IPL franchises, where all the best players around the world gather as one.
“There's a lot of work to be done, we are not lacking for talent but the work needs to start now and we need to be honest and up front about it, and we need to challenge ourselves.”