If having to play the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers wasn’t embarrassing enough, the West Indies’ dismal performance in the tournament have caused a lot of pain to their fans, especially those who have seen the side during its glory days.
The Carribean side lost three of their four group-stage games, with the losses coming against Zimbabwe, Netherlands and Scotland- two teams that don’t to play too much international cricket.
Their two wins have come against USA and Nepal and their dreams of being a part of the World Cup later this year are in absolute disarray.
While a few fans might be surprised by the West Indies’ performance, or lack thereof, those who have ardently followed their cricket over the last few years will admit that this was coming.
The West Indies failed to qualify for the 2017 Champions Trophy due to their poor ranking. They had to play the qualifiers to make it to the 2019 World Cup, in which they could win only two games, finishing below Bangladesh in the table.
Then, in 2022, they failed to qualify for the main stage of the T20 World Cup in Australia. There, they were beaten by Scotland and Ireland and on both occasions, they were hammered.
Roach also expressed his disappointment around West Indies’ failure to qualify for next month’s World Cup in India. West Indies, winners of the 1975 and 1979 World Cups, failed to make it out of this summer’s World Cup Qualifier and will subsequently not take part in a men’s World Cup for the first time.
“I know the guys are pretty disappointed about that,” said Roach. “But it says a lot to us about what we need to do to improve our cricket back home. I’ll be honest with you, the quality of cricket back home and the infrastructure is not great. And a lot needs to be done. People need to sit down and have serious conversations in terms of making things happen. Not just talking about it but making stuff happen in terms of improving cricket in the Caribbean. This is definitely an eye-opener. Obviously after our struggles in recent T20 World Cups, that’s all a build-up of what has been happening back home and it’s now transparent everyone is seeing it now. I really, really hope that for the next four years, the people who are in charge of West Indies cricket really sit down and have a serious, serious conversation and start acting these words in terms of improving the cricket and there’s a lot that needs to be done a lot of simple things that need to be done on.”
In terms of what needs changing, Roach said the priority should be to improve the quality of pitches to aid the development of West Indies’ best young players.
“Oh boy, you could be here all day,” said Roach when pressed on what he’d change if he were in an administrative role. “Simple things, man. The pitches need to improve. We’ve been known for our fast bowlers for years, long before us. And there is talent, there is some serious talent in the Caribbean that wants to improve that wants to get better. But we don’t have facilities, we don’t have the pitches to accommodate that. So for me, that is definitely the first order if I was president or if I was in charge of West Indies cricket.”