Image courtesy of: Zimbio
West Indies head coach Stuart Law has insisted that his main goal is to see the national team automatically qualify for the 2019 World Cup.
Only the top eight sides on the rankings will automatically qualify for the event, and since the West Indies are currently in ninth place on the standings, Law acknowledged that they have a lot of work to do before the cutoff date on September 30.
Should the West Indies fail to be among the top eight teams by the deadline, they will have to participate in a qualification tournament that will see a total of 10 teams battle against each other for two spots in the World Cup.
With this in mind, Law admitted that it is crucial his side begin taking some steps to ascend up the rankings, starting by winning the three-match ODI series against England, which begins on Friday in Antigua.
“The main aim is to qualify for the next World Cup, the 50-over World Cup, so these one-day games are extremely important to us,” he said. “So that’s our main focus really at this stage. I know we have Pakistan coming for T20s, Tests and one-dayers as well but the one-day series probably will take paramount importance.”
The West Indies already failed to qualify for the Champions Trophy this year and it is no doubt a bitter pill to swallow as prior to this, they had participated in every edition of the tournament.
But, the West Indies have been lacking consistency in all formats as of late as frosty relations between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and some high-profile players have led to the men from the Caribbean not always fielding their strongest side.
However, the dark clouds hovering over the West Indies may start clearing as former captain Jimmy Adams will be addressing the problems in his new role as director of cricket.
“It’s a great little tournament, the Champions Trophy, the mini World Cup and to not be there probably isn’t where you want to be,” Law said. “You want to be in every single one of those tournaments but it is what it is. We’ve just got to make sure we have our heads screwed on for the one-day tournaments we play in upcoming tours and if we can win those, we can get through to qualify for the World Cup. That’s probably the bigger one to worry about.”
“We’ve got power. We’ve got extreme power. Match that with a bit of technique as well, we’re looking pretty good.
“For me, it’s about seeing how it all operates. Learning the different cultures from the different islands and how to address people and how to get the best out of the young kids is probably the most important thing for me now. I’m not going to focus on becoming No. 1 in the world at this stage. I’m focusing on building a culture, building a work ethic in the dressing room that will put the little brick in place so that they can become the best they can be.”