Settled squad wanted for World Cup qualifiers says Law

NOTTINGHAM, England,  CMC — Stuart Law said he wants to use the remainder of the One-day International series against England to build a settled West Indies squad for the ICC World Cup qualifying tournament next March in Zimbabwe.

With September 30 set as the cut-off date for automatic qualification for the World Cup, the Windies now cannot move ahead of Sri Lanka in the ICC ODI World Rankings irrespective of the results in the remaining matches which has paved the way for Sri Lanka to gain automatic qualification.

The Sri Lankans became the eighth and final team to qualify directly for the 2019 World Cup, joining Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa.

The Windies will now progress to the 10-team World Cup qualifier featuring the Zimbaweans, Afghanistan and Ireland, as well as the top four sides from the ICC World Cricket League and the top two sides from the ICC WCL Division 2.

West Indies coach Stuart Law.

The top two sides from the World Cup qualifier will complete the 10-team line-up for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which will be staged from May 30 to July 15 in the United Kingdom.

“Our plan is to go to Zimbabwe next year with a settled team, a team where everyone knows their roles and what they want to achieve,” said Law following the wash-out of the second ODI against England at Trent Bridge.

“It’s a balancing act. There’s plenty of A-Team cricket in the Caribbean — Sri Lanka “A” are there and England are coming next year, so there are opportunities — but I’d like to go to New Zealand with a team which is pretty settled before the qualifiers.”

Law said there are a number of players that are not currently part of the side in England that may come into the reckoning, and there will be much for him and the Cricket West Indies selection panel to consider.

“Sunil Narine showed his class in the Twenty20 (against England last Saturday),” said Law. “He stated he wanted to get some 50-over cricket in, which is fair enough, but if he decides he wants to give ODIs a go, he’d be one of the first picks with the spin he provides.

“Most people would be excited to have a guy like Andre Russell (who is due to complete a one-year ban for a missed drugs tests in January) also champing at the bit to play international cricket.”

Law added: “It’s a balancing act because what some players bring is extraordinary and you don’t want to nullify that effect.

“We’ve still got some selectorial conversations to have, to understand if we have the best players to take this team forward. This group I feel has a lot of good, that’s why they are here.”

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