Two-time ICC Men’s T20 World Cup-winning captain Daren Sammy has revealed where he thinks it all went wrong for the West Indies at this year’s event and what the Caribbean side needs to do to become a powerhouse again.
Sammy knows better than most what it takes to perform on the big stage, with the 38-year-old having captained the West Indies to many of their greatest successes in the shortest format of the game and leading the team to T20 World Cup titles in 2012 and 2016.
And just like many other former greats, Sammy was shocked to see his old team bundled out of the tournament during the First Round in Australia as they fell to disappointing losses to Scotland and Ireland.
Sammy believes the West Indies got much wrong during their time in Australia and they were tactically inept during much of their three First Round matches.
“I thought as a team we were quite poor tactically and the problem wasn’t the calibre of players as we had enough talent to play much better,” Sammy said.
“The cricket we play now doesn’t match the talent we have in the team.
“The team lacked inspiration, they lacked motivation and tactically we were not on song.
“When you look at a wicket and you have Jason Holder who is six-foot-eight (inches) and you have Alzarri Joseph who is bowling well and you keep opening the bowling with Kyle Mayers.
“No disrespect to him (Mayers) as conditions in St Lucia in the Caribbean is quite different to Australia where the ball bounces.
“You have got to win the Powerplays both with the bat and the ball, and we found ourselves losing the Powerplays and having to bring the bowlers back on to try and bring us back into the game, and it was the same with the bat.”
The fallout from the West Indies’ performance was swift, with Australia great Ricky Ponting labelling their efforts a disgrace and Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt promising a full review of what went wrong Down Under.
Experienced coach Phil Simmons also announced he would stand down from his position at the end of the year and Sammy knows the West Indies must get their next coaching appointment right.
“The sad thing is that not many people are putting their hands up to come and coach the West Indies,” Sammy noted.
“Even though we were not performing at Tests and ODI, we dominated T20I cricket (during his playing career) and that was something that would bring smiles to the fans and now we have lost it.
“Whoever comes in (as coach) needs to be tactically sound, have good man management skills and the people around him need to be technically correct.”
Sammy is adamant that the culture must change quickly otherwise the West Indies will find themselves in a mire for some time.
“There need to be some learnings and some teachings about what we represent as whether you like it or not, West Indies is still every fan’s second favourite team,” Sammy said.
“The world needs West Indies cricket to be strong and we were not there tactically and I have spoken about that.
“There needs to be a new inspiration as the team outgrew the staff in the dressing room.
“But we have the guys. You look at Jason Holder, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, and Shai Hope…there is no lack of talent.
“It is about picking the right personnel for the situation and the different stages that the game needs with proper planning and the right players for the right time.”