ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022
The allrounder said any suggestions players were indifferent to Australia’s early T20 World Cup exit were simply not true
23 November 2022, 05:16 PM AEST
Glenn Maxwell has stridently denied Australia's T20 World Cup exit meant nothing to players, suggesting the context of his comments which made headlines earlier this month were distorted.
Maxwell, on the mend from a horrific leg injury that will see him miss months of cricket, had spoken with typical candour after Australia's final match against Afghanistan earlier this month in Adelaide.
At that stage, the reigning T20 champions' fate had not actually been sealed but the narrowness of their win over the Afghans meant their hopes of progression appeared slim. Their failure to qualify was then confirmed the following day, finishing level on points with New Zealand and England with their inferior net-run-rate the decisive factor.
Speaking to reporters after the Afghanistan game, Maxwell referred to a packed schedule which saw Australia begin a Dettol ODI series only days after the World Cup final, saying "cricket never stops, you don't get time to dwell".
Moments earlier he had expressed his disappointment that the team "haven't nailed quite enough moments" and "haven't been able to show how we feel like we're playing as a group".
Only the initial comments gained significant traction, with some pundits suggesting they were a sign players were indifferent to the outcome of the ICC event they were hosting.
"I said, ‘you can't afford to dwell because you've got so much cricket coming up, there's no real time to do it'," Maxwell told cricket.com.au's The Unplayable Podcast.
"I sort of said, 'it doesn't really matter', but it was more about it doesn't matter if you dwell (on the exit) or not, because if you dwell, you've already missed a game or two, you've missed an opportunity to play well for your country and if you don't dwell, you're focusing on the next game.
"So when I say it doesn't really matter, that's what I was referring to.
"It's up to the individual if they wanted to dwell on it, but there's not enough time to."
Maxwell insisted what he viewed as a significant misrepresentation of his comments would discourage teammates from speaking candidly.
"When I saw the headlines, I was like, 'well, they've just made up a headline to a question that's completely different'," the 34-year-old continued.
"Basically when I looked at that, I went, 'Bugger media, it can go stuff itself'.
"A lot of players do that, because when they see headlines that takes something completely out of context, they do get a bit shy and standoffish, instead of saying exactly what's on their mind or exactly how they feel.
"When it gets taken the wrong way, it makes them look bad and it makes them look ostracised from the rest of the team, saying that's not on the team's radar at all.
"I'm not saying for one second that we as an Australian team didn't care. At no stage was I saying that, but all of a sudden, that's coming out as a headline. I was like, 'well, that's not true at all'.
"We certainly cared and that's all we cared about at the time. We wanted to win the World Cup."
Maxwell identified Finn Allen's blazing start to their tournament-opening match in Sydney that fired New Zealand to a big win, along with their washed-out clash with eventual champions England in Melbourne as they key factors in their failure to defend the title they won in the UAE last year.
The fact the two finalists of this year's event had considerable hiccups during their campaigns – Pakistan had a meltdown against India before losing a second straight match to Zimbabwe, while England were defeated by Ireland in the group stage – was also notable.
"Teams were afforded mistakes at different times where we just weren't," Maxwell said.
"It was just one of those tournaments where it was just really difficult to be so overly shattered because it felt like we didn't do a whole lot wrong.
"It didn't feel like we had enough opportunities to showcase why we were the defending champions."
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ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022