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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report


We didn't deserve any better, says dejected Lara

Simon Evans | April 11, 2007 10:46 IST

Dejected West Indies captain Brian Lara said his team had played "bad cricket" in the World Cup, failed to handle the pressure and did not deserve to make it to the semi-finals.

The World Cup hosts were all but out of the competition after their 67-run defeat to South Africa on Tuesday, their fourth straight loss in the second-stage Super Eights.

"We did not act well at all. It is hard to sit here and pinpoint exactly where we went wrong, other than the fact that if you look at the stats of the games we were beaten badly by better teams," Lara told a news conference.

Only a series of freak results could save his team and Lara accepted that would not happen.

"We are very disappointed and we are sad that we have disappointed the people of the Caribbean and people who support us around the world.

"We feel it a lot and we know that the man in the street is definitely disappointed. When we go to training we see people waving and we understand what cricket means to them and we would not go out, not wanting to perform.

'BAD CRICKET'

"It just happens that we have played bad cricket and we have to hold our hands up and say, yes, we played bad cricket and we don't deserve to be in the semi-finals and to our people, sorry about that and let's hope we can pick ourselves up," said Lara.

His team had won all three of their group games before successive losses to Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka in the round-robin Super Eights.

As well as accepting that his side had been "outclassed" by South Africa, Lara said that in their four defeats his team had failed to show the character needed to handle the expectation that surrounded them as hosts.

"We did not stand up to the pressure, it is as simple as that. There is already that feeling that host nations don't do well but under the pressure of the World Cup our team, we did not stand up very well to it," he said.

Lara, 37, had said prior to the tournament that he would be standing down from one-day games and said he was sad that he was unable to go out in better style.

"It is definitely a huge disappointment. It is a situation where you are playing your last few one-dayers and you hope you are going to play in a World Cup semi-final or final, to me I am hugely disappointed.

"I've had a very fruitful career, I've enjoyed playing for West Indies in the one-day arena and I will continue to enjoy for the next couple of games.

"But what is more important is the state of the younger players who have to carry forward the team," he said.

Asked whether the side's poor showing at the World Cup had led him to consider his future as test captain too, Lara said: "I'm going to be in the World Cup for the next two games and I'm not going to talk about that part of it.

"The end of the World Cup is maybe the best time to talk about it".

West Indies, whose predecessors won the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979, travel to Barbados for the final two matches against Bangladesh (April 19) and then England (April 21).

The final on April 28 will be played at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados. The seven-week tournament was the first time the World Cup had been staged in the Caribbean.


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