'Lack of T20 batsmen led to defeat'
After their poor showing at the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League, Bangalore IPL team's chief cricket officer Martin Crowe has admitted that the lack of specialist batsmen was the major reason behind their lacklustre performance in the tournament.
Crowe said the side, led by Rahul Dravid, did not have the batsmen suited for the shortest version of the game.
"There is no one or particular area that deserves more blame than anyone else. People speculated at the start what type of team we were (a Test side) and that's the way it has turned out. We didn't have Twenty20 batsmen," Crowe said.
The former Kiwi skipper also blamed the lack of facilities and time for the Vijay Mallya-owned team's debacle.
"The composition of the team, the fact that key players were coming out of a Test series and had just one day to prepare. Our facilities at the home ground were poor - we got the worst practice facilities that I have ever seen in 25 years of international cricket, so preparing was even harder."
Crowe said the management, which did whatever it could do, has to share the blame. "We as management also have to take blame. I am sort of involved in the three-year plan but I understand that I have been long way away from the goal.
We tried everything, every player in every combination simply because no one was putting the hand up. There is nothing to be proud of apart from, obviously, there has been some hard work that went in," he said.
Looking ahead at the next season, Crowe insisted the team needs a few specialist T20 batsmen. "I think you have to go in with a clean sheet and look at bringing players that would be suitable for IPL. Get as many new Twenty20 recruits as possible," he said.
Crowe commiserated with skipper Rahul Dravid who, he believes, tried hard to play the role of a T20 captain.
"But at the end of the day, he had the seventh best side to work with. Rahul was very open, he knew his limitations being a 35-year-old, he wished he were ten years younger but he went out there and gave 110 per cent," he said.