‘Chris Gayle an absolute legend but nowhere near fans’ expectations at T20 World Cup’
Dubai: Former West Indian cricketer Samuel Badree said that he expected a much better performance from the Caribbean side than what they dished out at the ICC T20 World Cup, given that many of them were playing their last World Cup.
He also said that though Chris Gayle was an “absolute legend” of the game, he didn’t have the type of tournament that the fans would have hoped for. The two-time World T20 champions bowed out after managing only one win in their ‘Super 12′ Group 1 and finished fifth among six teams.
Among the reasons being cited for the Kieron Pollard-led side’s debacle is the fact that several key players were over the hill. And Badree too said that infusion of young blood in the side was the way forward for the 2012 and 2016 T20 World champions.
“Many of those guys would have been playing their last World Cup game representing the West Indies and I expected a much better showing, given the fact that they will be signing off on the world stage. It was a disappointing end to a disappointing campaign,” said Badree on Sunday evening.
” Chris Gayle is an absolute legend of the game, an iconic blockbuster performer over many, many years to have the kind of statistics that he does in T20 cricket. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the type of tournament that he would have hoped for, that the fans would have hoped for. It was a disappointing campaign for him, and we know that it really hurt him,” said the former West Indian spinner in his column for the ICC.
“He (Gayle) wanted to sign off on a high. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, so he will be remembered for his greatness in T20 cricket, being the entertainer that he was, and really leading the way and setting the trend for the other players who were following in his footsteps,” added Badree, who played 52 T20Is and nearly 200 T20s.
Badree felt that the absence of an attacking bowler was among the reasons for West Indies’ dismal show, adding that someone like left-arm fast bowler Obed McCoy could have played that role.
“That (absence of an attacking bowler in most games) was one of the downfalls of this West Indies team. Not having a wicket-taker and a really attacking bowler… he (McCoy) would have filled that role quite well, so it was a big miss. I think the experience of being there, understanding how massive a T20 World Cup is will serve him in good stead.”
Badree felt that soon youngsters in the side such as Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran will have to shoulder more responsibility given that a few seniors will walk into the sunset soon.
“Those two young players had a couple of good innings during this World Cup and we saw glimpses of what they are capable of now, and how special they can be in a couple of years’ time. Akeal Hosein as a spinner did well in his debut World Cup, McCoy you only saw him in the one game but in the region we know of his ability.
“There are quite a few young players who are coming through the ranks; they have big shoes to fill in the absence of Gayle and Bravo when Chris does call it a day. There will be tremendous expectation on these young players coming through but I think they have the quality to fill those shoes quite satisfactorily,” opined Badree.