The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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The players owe fans an answer, says Wright

Port of Spain: In the driveway leading to the Hilton, the young man staged a silent protest holding a poster not many could have missed on Saturday.

“Port of Suicide for Team India”, read the message as he tried to portray the feelings of thousands of Trinidadians of Indian origin here.

The players’ performance has left them speechless. “You guys can’t even make the Super Eight! And you boast of being the best! What happened with your Tendulkaah' Can’t he deliver when it’s needed most'” has been the common refrain.

The players had a despondent look about them a day after losing to Sri Lanka with most deciding to stay indoors. Some who turned up at the hotel lobby tried to enquire about the reaction back home. An uneasy calm prevailed as the players tried to come to terms with the happenings. John Wright was among those who couldn’t hide his feelings.

“The Indian players owe their fans an answer. It’s a shame for their fans… A big loss. I know the players must be feeling equally bad. A huge disappointment. It must have been hard for the players to digest too,” the former Team India coach told The Telegraph.

Wright did not want to go into the reasons that led to the disaster. “I’m sure there will be a lot of introspection and self analysis. It’ll not be fair for me to make a comment. I feel for the players.

“Trainer Gregory King and computer analyst Ramakrishna had dinner with me last evening (Saturday). They were in a state of shock… I can visualise the players’ feelings,” he added.

Now that Greg Chappell’s term has ended, will he be ready to take charge if the offer comes his way'

“Let’s wait and see what happens,” Wright, who guided India to the World Cup final in 2003, refused to speak his mind.

Former West Indies cricketer Larry Gomes wouldn’t blame Greg Chappell. “The players lacked application. Why blame the coach' I was amazed to see not one batsman showing the determination to stay till the end. They clearly lacked the mental approach. There was no devil in the wicket.”

Colin Croft agreed with Chappell that the players failed to cope with the pressure.

“There is something seriously wrong. Why don’t you guys let your players play freely' Let them be normal human beings… The burden of expectations is doing them no good. The sooner you realise this the better for Indian cricket,” he remarked.

Gomes felt that with the Indians’ exit, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and the West Indies would reach the last four. “From there it’s anybody’s game.”

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