MUMBAI, India CMC – Legendary Indian all-rounder Kapil Dev said authorities should reconsider the rules of qualification for the ICC Champions Trophy, if it means West Indies will be out of the tournament.
The former Indian captain and world record-breaking fast bowler was astonished that the Windies will not be part of the tournament which takes place from June 1 to 18 in England and Wales.
For the eighth edition of the tournament, the top eight teams in the ICC ODI rankings on September 30, 2015, qualified for the tournament.
The Caribbean side finished outside the top eight in ninth position on the cut-off date and were nudged by Bangladesh, meaning they missed out on the tournament for the first time.
“It’s very hard to believe that West Indies will not be at the tournament,” he said. “I always follow West Indies cricket very closely because that was the best team in our time.
“If the West Indies team has declined in 20 or 30 years, we can say that the other teams have come up. It’s sad to see the West Indies decline from where it was. There is no shortage of talent though. The West Indies winning the Twenty20 World Cup last year in Kolkata was fantastic.
“When someone makes a rule, they don’t think of things like whether this or that team will qualify. I, as a cricketer, lover of the game, think that the West Indies should be there all the time, but again I don’t write the rules.”
Kapil Dev has picked hosts England to prevail over the Bangladeshis, Australia, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the tournament which will be played at the Oval in London, Edgbaston in Birmingham and Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
“I think of England,” he said. “For the first time in 40 years, England has given me the impression that it is producing players for one-day cricket.
“They has a ruthless approach with players like Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes. They can win matches on their own.”
He said: “That’s the sort of the team [India] had at one time – Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag.
“For the first time though, I feel England has so many good players who on their own can win matches, so I make them the favourites.”