Windies eyeing Lord’s final, says Holder

LONDON,  CMC – None of West Indies’ fixtures in the upcoming ICC World Cup will be staged in London but captain Jason Holder says that has further strengthened the side’s resolve to reach the final at Lord’s.

Cricket’s world governing body yesterday formally released the schedule for the May 30 to July 14 showpiece, a day after it had been leaked to media.

West Indies, two-time winners of the event, will play two matches in Southampton, Manchester and Nottingham, with other fixtures also carded for Taunton, Chester-le-Street and Leeds, but have been kept away from the London venues of the Oval and Lord’s.

Holder, who guided West Indies through the qualifying tournament last month in Zimbabwe, said his side wanted to play the quality cricket which would take them to London.

“We want to be there at Lord’s in the final to lift the trophy – we believe we are good enough to win it,” the fast bowler said as he responded to the official announcement of the schedule.

“It is always great to play in a global event. As a young cricketer who set your sights on this kind of event and do something special for the Windies fans on the world stage.”

As revealed Wednesday, West Indies open their campaign on May 31 against 1992 champions Pakistan in Nottingham, clash with defending champions Australia on June 6 at the same venue before taking on South Africa (June 10) and England (June 14) in Southampton.

They next play Bangladesh on June 17 at the County Ground in Taunton, with riveting encounters set for Manchester against New Zealand (June 22) and India (June 27).

Their last two matches will be against Sri Lanka at The Riverside in Chester-le-Street on  July 1 and against Afghanistan at Headingley in Leeds three days later.

“The World Cup is extremely special for us. As players and as a team it means everything. We have a great history and we won the first two editions, so the aim is to make it three in 2019,” Holder said.

“For the World Cup, we will enter as underdogs but we believe in each other and know who and what we are playing for.”

West Indies won the inaugural World Cup in 1975 and repeated the feat four years later, with both triumphs coming under the legendary Clive Lloyd.

They were good enough to reach the 1983 final but went down to India in a shock result.

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