West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite has urged his team to follow England’s example over the next four years after the Caribbean side's 2019 World Cup campaign came to an end on Thursday (July 4).
West Indies managed to beat Afghanistan by 23 runs in their last game but that was their only second win in this tournament. They got the better of Pakistan in their first encounter but then lost six games while their match against South Africa was washed out. There were a couple of games that West Indies should have won including the one in which Brathwaite's superb century almost took them over the line against New Zealand.
Brathwaite said his team can learn a thing or two from England who failed to qualify for the quarterfinals in the 2015 World Cup and then completely changed the structure of their limited-overs cricket. Fast forward four years, Eoin Morgan's men are in the semifinals of this World Cup.
"There is disappointment in the changing rooms at not making the final four but we’re thankful for the good performances," said Brathwaite, who took 4 for 63 against Afghanistan at Headingley.
"Sheldon Cottrell had a fantastic tournament and at times like these it’s easy to let those things go missing. But as a team we came together, we highlighted the guys that we thought had good performances and the guys that didn’t will take the lessons and come back from it so we can start to win bilateral series leading up to the next World Cup.
"As a team, we need to regroup. We have some time off, some aching bodies will get time to recuperate and then it’s about finding ways and combinations to compete and win series.
"Hopefully we can take that winning mentality into the next World Cup. If you look at 2015 and what England did after the World Cup, they have built straight up to the 2019 World Cup and it’s paying dividends.
"I don’t know off the field what the plans are for the 2023 World Cup but I think it’s something we need to look at and build towards that."
West Indies team is filled with young players but there's someone who is soon going to bid adieu to international cricket, Chris Gayle. For Brathwaite, it has only started to sink in recently just how big an influence Gayle has been on West Indian cricket.
"I don’t think I really understood the magnitude of what Chris Gayle had done for West Indies cricket when I came into the team.
"It’s one of my regrets over the course of my short West Indies career but being with him a lot more and sharing a dressing room with him in franchise cricket as well, you get to see the aura he has on and off the field.
"I now really understand what Chris Gayle means, not only for West Indies cricket but for world cricket as well.
"Whenever he decides to call it quits, world cricket will definitely miss him so from me to Chris, congrats on a fantastic career and congrats on pushing the game of cricket in the way you have."