Mumbai: A dejected England captain Charlotte Edwards blamed her side's exit from the women's cricket World Cup on inconsistent and slow starts in the first phase of the event, saying the defending champions came up with their best way too late.
"We came here to win this tournament and we haven't and we are not even going into the final and that is disappointing for us as a group of players. We know where we went wrong," Edwards said after England beat New Zealand by 15 runs in a dead rubber on Wednesday.
"We were very inconsistent in the first phase of the tournament and possibly now playing our best cricket which is too late, which is the most disappointing thing for us as a group of players," she added at the post-match conference. We have paid for our sort of slow start in effect and now when we are hitting the straps, we are not looking any deeper than that. These players are world class players and it's just one of those tournament cricket," she asserted.
Edwards said she had expected Australia to win and was heartbroken when she got to know that the West Indies had beaten the five-time world champions.
"I looked at the big screen to see the results but I didn't actually take in what the information was telling me. So I just assumed that Australia had won their game because when I went out to bat, they were going pretty well. One of the Kiwis quite quickly told me that the Aussies had lost and I told her I didn't believe her. So they had lost. And Sarah (Taylor) came upto me and she said they had lost. Pretty heartbroken. For three overs I didn't really know what I was doing to be honest," she recalled.
"Probably you all sensed that on the field. It was disappointing for both teams. This tournament has been full of surprises so I don't know why I am surprised," she said. On her future plans, the five-time World Cupper said she would carry on as she is continues to enjoy playing the game.
"I am not going to make any rash decisions. I am enjoying my cricket. I am loving playing with this group. I don't feel I am ready to have any thoughts about retirement. We have got a big summer. We have got Twenty20 World Cup next year. I can't tell you if I am going to be there in four years time. The only thing that perhaps might keep me going is the fact that it's in England. But four years is a long time," Edwards said.
Meanwhile, New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates said it would have been better if they had not known the other result.
"I think it was disappointing. Both teams were going in with every chance of playing for a spot in the final and I think it would have been easier not to have known that result because it is hard to put out off your mind when you realise we are playing now and we have to play each other again (for the third place playoff)," Bates said.
Though she had backed Australia to win the match against the West Indies, Bates said the Caribbean side had played some good cricket throughout the tournament.
"I haven't actually looked at the scorecard. I found out after the first drinks break when someone said you know West Indies got up and I think we followed them in the morning and they had a low total so we backed Australia to get the runs. They (West Indies) have played some good cricket. They are one of those teams that on their day you don't know what to get. England and us, we lost crucial games which affected our chances," she said.
West Indies entering the final meant that they would have to face Australia once again, while England and New Zealand would play another match to decide the third position. South Africa would replay Sri Lanka for the fifth-sixth position and Bates said it doesn't often happen that teams play the same opponent back to back.