West Indies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo has conceded that not having an
automatic spot to participate in the 2019 edition of cricket’s apex one-day challenge – the ICC 50 – overs tournament – is not where the Caribbean side ideally wants to be. The former World Champions, who won the coveted title under the leadership of Guyanese Clive Lloyd in 1975 and 1979 while reaching the final in 1983, has been on a steady decline since.
They have failed to reach the final ever since and have consistently been in the lower tier of the international sport.
Despite efforts to revive the sport, Windies have now reached a new low, under the leadership of Jason Holder and will have to vie for the final two spots in the showpiece event when the qualifying leg gets underway in Zimbabwe, come March.
“It’s very important for West Indies cricket in the whole,” the wrist spinner told Stabroek Sport in a recent interview.
“You know, playing the World Cup qualifiers for the first time is not what we expected but we have to stick together as a team and try to do well in this tournament.
“I know everyone is up for it and wants to do well,” he added. Bishoo’s sentiments regarding ‘everyone wanting to do well’ comes on the heels of controversial times where a few of the side’s high-profile players opted to play in the Pakistan Super League T20 tournament over the qualifiers which runs parallel.
That move resulted in accusations of disloyalty on the part of those who opted for cash over pride but Bishoo nonetheless assured that the current group is focused and is in high spirits amidst the storm.
“I wasn’t in New Zealand with the one-day squad [due to injury] but I know from our time in England that everyone was happy, together and comfortable and enjoying our success so it’s just about going to Zimbabwe and doing well,” Bishoo said.
Speaking about the methods employed by Coach Stuart Law and Skipper Holder, Bishoo described it as an environment where the focus is predominantly on polishing the techniques of himself and counterparts while keeping the team in the right frame of mind to achieve what should be an easy task of qualifying.
The qualifiers, which will be used to finalise the final two spots for the tournament in England, will commence from March 4-25. The Windies have been drawn in Group A alongside Ireland, The Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, and Papua New Guinea, and the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 winners.