Jamaica Observer / After losing the opening game of the Super Six stage to Afghanistan last week, as well as a pre-tournament warm-up against the same opponents, the West Indies will feel pressured to win the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifiers tomorrow morning. The truth, though, is that West Indies and Afghanistan have completed their immediate mission, which was to qualify for next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup in England.
Much has been made of the West Indies’ good fortune when an umpiring error gave them the edge against Scotland during the latter’s tense run chase in their final game of the Super Six. But in cricket, as in life, luck invariably goes both ways over time.
Very little has been said about Mr Shimron Hetmyer’s dismissal in the West Indies loss to Afghanistan last week. Back then, Mr Hetmyer, who looked the best of the West Indies batsmen against highly talented Afghan spinners, was given out LBW. Television replays showed that Mr Hetmyer had inside-edged the ball onto his pad.
That’s cricket and that’s life. We must take the rough with the smooth.
Cricket West Indies (CWI) must now look ahead to next year’s World Cup, which will take place between late May and mid-July.
Though CWI President Mr Dave Cameron is often guilty of saying the wrong thing, he surely can’t be faulted for suggesting that West Indies must now plan and prepare to win next year’s tournament.
The available evidence suggests to this newspaper that planning and preparation were not ideal for the qualifying tournament. To begin with, the regional 50-overs competition took place after the ICC deadline for the squad to be selected for the tournament in Zimbabwe. That meant the selectors didn’t have the option of considering several players who did well in the regional event.
Also, the choice of three specialist spinners in the West Indies squad for the qualifying tournament suggested the selectors expected more spin-friendly pitches than turned out to be the case. In fact, from this distance it seems leg spinner Mr Devendra Bishoo was largely surplus to requirements. On the other hand, we believe the West Indies attack was sadly lacking in genuine pace, especially after left-arm seamer Mr Sheldon Cottrell had to return home because of injury. It seems passing strange that Mr Shannon Gabriel, among the world’s fastest bowlers, was not included.
Technical director of West Indies cricket Mr James Adams; coach, Mr Stuart Law; their support technical staff; and the regional selectors must now give serious consideration to likely conditions in England in the early summer of next year as well as available talent, as they seek to have the best possible squad represent the Caribbean.
Preparation will be crucial. The most will have to be made of upcoming international and regional fixtures, a planned West Indies A tour of England, and use of facilities now under the control of CWI in Antigua.
There will be naysaying and cynicism and very possibly more of the administrative missteps which have plagued West Indies cricket down the years. But through it all, the technical staff and players must stay focused, eyes on the prize, which is the ICC Cricket World Cup. We wish them well.
JAMAICA: Qualification over with, WI must now refocus
Con Información de Jamaica Observer
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