Windies’ skipper Jason Holder asserts West Indies cricket team will not leave any stone unturned when it begins its qualifying campaign for the 2019 ICC World Cup. After not being able to be in the top eight of the International Cricket Council’s one-day international rankings, the Windies team needs to come through a preliminary tournament to take their place at next year’s finals in England.
Winners of the first two editions of the World Cup in 1975 and 1979, West Indies have not reached a World Cup final since 1983, and face the prospect of not featuring at all if they do not progress from next month’s event in Zimbabwe.
Holder’s men have been pulled alongside Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea and United Arab Emirates in Group A. The best three team will advance to a Super Six stage, from which the top two teams will secure a spot at the World Cup.
Jason Holder explains his part
Talking about the preparations for the tournament, Jason said, “In a tournament like this we know the opponents will be fearless, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I believe every side in this tournament is dangerous and we must not take any team lightly. We will take every game as a final. Leading up to the first match against the United Arab Emirates, we should be more than ready when that challenge comes.”
He further elaborated, “We have two warm-up matches before the first tournament match, so we have been preparing well. We should not be short of cricket when that first match comes around. We have a very good balance, we have guys who can bowl the new ball very well and others who can take wickets in the middle overs and finish off well. In our batting, we have power at the top of the order and power at the end. We also have players in the middle, who can consolidate and take over when necessary.”
Alfonso Thomas, a one-time South Africa international with 547 first-class wickets to his name, has been appointed as the Windies’ bowling coach ahead of the tournament. The Caribbeans can now only hope that Thomas‘ appointment will turn around their fortunes.