Previous World T20 seemed like Kieron Pollard's friends came to party together, bluntly claims Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra believes West Indies may have a difficult time in the group stages without the services of Sunil Narine and Andre Russell|
Aakash Chopra has criticised West Indies cricket for their incompetent structure, stating no players from across the islands wanted to represent the country anymore. He went on to highlight the absence of Andre Russell and Sunil Narine from the World Cup squad, expressing doubt over the chances.
The West Indies side is going through a tumultuous period at the moment, suffering one of their worst patches of results in a long and glorious history. The team is currently ranked seventh in T20Is and has won only two of its last seven bilateral series. Their record since the World T20 2021 reads 14 losses and just seven victories, including series losses at home to India and New Zealand. Even in the marquee event, West Indies had managed a sole victory against Bangladesh, losing all their four other games including some infamously horrifying displays.
In the early years of T20I cricket, West Indies had emerged as a pioneer with their natural brand of explosive cricket well suited to the game's requirements. In Chris Gayle, they had the world's most successful T20 batsman while Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard are both likely to go down as one of the greatest all-rounders in the format's history. The trio led them to two World T20s, the only team to achieve the feat, winning the tournaments in both 2012 and 2016. However, all of them have now retired from the game and other players have failed to step up to the mantle to fill their shoes such as skipper Nicholas Pooran and veteran Jason Holder.
On the other hand, the likes of Andre Russell and Sunil Narine have been exiled from the national team setup despite enormous success in T20 leagues across the world. Rifts between players and the Wests Indies Cricket Board have been a common theme over the past decade and saw all senior players be boycotted at some point but the situation has been hurting cricket in the country quite severely.
“The West Indies cricket structure is flawed if Andre Russell is not playing. Different islands unite to play for the team, but I think there is nothing to join them together. In the last T20 World Cup, it seemed the captain’s [Kieron Pollard] friends joined and partied together,” renowned cricket expert Aakash Chopra was quoted saying by Hindustan Times on his YouTube channel.
West Indies will have to play the qualifiers for the World T20 Down Under next month for the first time. Their campaign starts on October 17 and the island nation has been grouped against Zimbabwe, Scotland, and Ireland, all of whom are more than capable of delivering an upset on their day.
“They are one of the most successful teams but must qualify for the group stage matches. No Russell and Sunil Narine, we shall find out [how they perform],” Chopra added.