Cricket Gods made us pay

West Indies head coach Darren Sammy has slammed the team’s fielding effort during their shock loss to Zimbabwe in the ICC World Cup 2023 Qualifiers on Saturday, saying that they didn’t deserve to win the match.

Zimbabwe was restricted to 268 runs in their 50 overs on the back of Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl’s fifties. West Indies looked to be in control of things from the start, but the Zimbabwe bowlers bounced back well and ended up bundling them out for 233 runs to win the match.

This has now put West Indies in a precarious position going into the Super Six stage and their qualification for the World Cup in doubt. Speaking at the press conference, as quoted by Cricinfo, Sammy slammed his side’s fielding during the match and said they didn’t deserve to win the match in the end.

“Extremely disappointed. At the toss, we got to do what we wanted to do, which is to bowl first,” Sammy said at his post-match press conference. “Look, if we continue to display this type of fielding – we’ve spoken about it for the last few games – and if you keep giving the opposition’s best batters chances, eventually the cricket gods will catch up with you.

“And it did with us today, but [a target of] 269 on that surface. Again, these are the things we’re trying to change. We’ve seen it happen in the past before and the direction that I want this team to move forward. Today was really poor and it’s about taking responsibility and we didn’t do that today. And hence we didn’t deserve to win at all today.”

While the road to this year’s World Cup has gotten tougher for West Indies, Sammy insisted that the race isn’t over for them despite the loss on Saturday to Zimbabwe.

“I wouldn’t say it hampers [our qualification] but it makes it more difficult,” Sammy said. “You’d love to go into the Super Six with four points. We knew from the time we left home that this game would’ve been very important to us. And again, like I said, the way we’ve played. I kept telling the guys that we kept on winning games [by] not playing our best cricket. Today again, we asked so much of ourselves. When you put on a display of fielding like this and then you get yourself in a good position and take the game for granted, the cricket gods will make you pay and that’s exactly what I’m going to tell them in the dressing room. We did not deserve to win, and we did not play to win today and now we have a lot of work to do – firstly to get to the Super Six and take on the other teams that we face.

“We’ve made our road to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 a bit more difficult, but I don’t give up on anything. I’ll keep encouraging the boys and challenging them to be better because the trend I’ve started here is going to be moving. And I tell them, who wants to get a ticket has to come and buy that ticket at the ticket office. At the moment, some of us are not buying that ticket for that train to move on,” said Sammy.

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