LONDON, CMC – Former Test and one-day captain Darren Sammy believes West Indies are still not guaranteed of a World Cup spot, even if they are forced to tackle ICC lightweight sides in a 10-team qualifier scheduled for next year.
The Caribbean side currently look likely to miss out on automatic qualification for the 2019 tournament in England, with only the hosts and the remaining top seven nations in the ICC rankings by September 30 earning direct berths.
West Indies are ranked ninth on 77 points, 16 ratings points behind eighth-placed Sri Lanka.
But Sammy pointed out that many of the non-Test-playing sides had improved drastically over the last year and West Indies would have to play well to earn one of the last two World Cups on offer in the qualifier. “Qualifying for the last two spots, that’s not even guaranteed,” he said here this week.
“It is difficult to beat Ireland in their conditions, we just saw Scotland beat Zimbabwe so all kind of countries are improving.
“Just like Bangladesh have improved and gone past us and we saw in the last World Cup where Ireland defeated us as well so it’s a long way to go. I think with the way we structure our cricket we are not going anywhere.”
The Windies shock loss to Ireland came in Nelson, New Zealand in 2015 when the minnows chased down 305 to pull off a sensational World Cup win.
And last November, West Indies twice failed to beat current World number 11, Zimbabwe, in a Tri-Nations Series in the African nation, to miss out on the final.
Their devastating defeat to Afghanistan in the opening game of a three-match series earlier this month in St Lucia saw them lose more points in the ICC rankings.
The Windies will take on the likes of Zimbabwe, Scotland, Ireland and Afghanistan, along with sides like Kenya and Namibia, if they are forced to go through the World Cup qualifying tournament.
West Indies face India in all-important five-match one-day series starting in Trinidad on Friday and then take on England in another five-match rubber in September, in a quest to better their rankings.