(Source: ICC) – West Indies have done some soul-searching since their elimination from the World Cup and head coach Floyd Reifer insists the clash against Sri Lanka is their first step on the path to a brighter future.
The West Indies were knocked out of semi-final contention by India on Thursday and then had a team meeting in the Old Trafford changing rooms that lasted over an hour.
An opening win over Pakistan has been followed by nothing but defeats and washouts for the West Indies to leave them searching for answers.
But with Sri Lanka up next in Durham on Monday, Reifer insists there is plenty to play for.
“Yes, we are out of the World Cup, but there is still a lot of cricket to play after the World Cup. It’s important for us to, you know, find the winning ways and find the winning formula going forward, so it is important for us to play this game as hard as possible,” he said.
“We want to create that winning culture. It has to start from somewhere. So we’re going to approach every game in a professional manner. The guys are still up for it. We’re good to go.
“We had a long conversation in the dressing room, so we did a lot of soul-searching. It is important for us and important for the fans in the Caribbean as well, for us to put up the performances, even at the back end of the World Cup.”
The West Indies have come very close to further victories at this year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
They had Australia in all sorts of trouble in their second game and came within a metre of beating New Zealand as Carlos Brathwaite produced some late-order fireworks.
But a failure to get over the line has cost them dear.
Reifer added: “I think we didn’t seize the key moments in games. You look back at our tournament, we played well against Pakistan. We had Australia on the ropes. New Zealand as well, you know. I thought we need to seize the key moments in the game. At crucial times we, you know, we dropped a few crucial chances as well.
And then collectively, you know, we didn’t bat properly. So it’s just small things that we didn’t do, the 1 percenters that didn’t we do well. So these are the sort of things we discussed as a team.
“The players are not comfortable with their performances, responsibility, those sort of conversations that we had in that team meeting. So going forward, I’m looking forward to seeing how the guys play in the next two games.”
And Reifer insists the future of the game is in good hands after the emergence of young leaders like Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Sheldon Cottrell.
He added: “The future of our cricket is good. You know, we have a lot of young guys here. Hope, Pooran, Hetmyer, Oshane Thomas. We have young John Campbell, he was injured from early. So our future is good. I’m confident in these youngsters that going forward we can bring
West Indies cricket back to where it belongs at the top.
“Yes, it is unfortunate we didn’t get to the final four in this competition, but going forward I’m happy from what I have seen. Sheldon Cottrell had a very good World Cup. So we have a lot of young guys that we can mould and build a strong unit going forward.