When the West Indies players pass through immigration today at the Gatwick International Airport, they will finally realise that the ICC World Cup tournament is still in progress and they are leaving early.
A campaign that has gone terribly wrong for the men from the Caribbean has seen them end in ninth position on the 10-team table with just five points from their nine matches. In fact, if you take away their opening win over Pakistan that had everyone here excited, they got only three points from their last eight games. They won their last game against lowly Afghanistan, which means there was a stretch in the middle that saw them collect just one point from seven matches and that was a washout against South Africa.
The players arrived in London yesterday and some will depart for Antigua and Barbuda while others head for Barbados, as they go home and look to reflect and rebuild with India on their doorsteps in a couple of weeks’ time.
All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, who didn't have a bad tournament, said: “There is a disappointment in the changing rooms at not making the final four but we’re thankful for the good performances.
“Sheldon Cottrell had a fantastic tournament and at times like these, it’s easy to let those things go missing. But as a team we came together, we highlighted the guys that we thought had good performances and the guys that didn’t will take the lessons and come back from it so we can start to win bilateral series leading up to the next World Cup,” he told Guardian Media.
“As a team, we need to regroup. We have some time off, some aching bodies will get time to recuperate and then it’s about finding ways and combinations to compete and win series.
the 2019 World Cup and it’s paying dividends.”
He added, “I don’t know off the field what the plans are for the 2023 World Cup but I think it’s something we need to look at and build towards that.”
The West Indies will entertain India for three T20s, three ODIs, and two Test matches from August 3 in the US and Caribbean.
Reporter: Vinode Mamchan