Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Brian Lara has made it clear that the West Indies have to qualify for the 2019 World Cup and cannot afford to miss out on the event, which will be held in England and Wales.
The legendary West Indies batsman said since the national team failed to automatically qualify for the World Cup due to the rankings system, they now have to book one of the two spots available in the tournament by outlasting a host of other countries in the World Cup Qualifiers.
Lara reiterated that with the West Indies missing out on last year’s Champions Trophy, they cannot allow the same thing to occur when it comes to next year’s World Cup.
“We have a very good record in the Champions Trophy and we didn’t have the opportunity to play (last year). The World Cup is a different story, obviously,” Lara told The Age. “It is something much more important. History in that particular tournament is very strong, especially in the early part of it, the first three or four World Cups.
“It’s a situation where I think the boys have no choice, we have to pull it through. It (ICC rankings) is set up in such a way that we were out of that place (automatically qualifying) so we have to qualify. But it doesn’t mean we can’t get there – we have to get there.”
However, if the West Indies fail to qualify for the World Cup, how would it affect the Caribbean?
“I don’t think anything is going to happen to the sport. Cricket has taken a different turn since the invention of T20,” Lara said. “It’s actually turned cricket on its head in the Caribbean in terms of understanding the importance of Test cricket and the forms of the game.
“So T20 on its own has created a different spectator and different cricketer and that is going to evolve. The World Cup, it would be a huge disappointment … I don’t want to think beyond that. The tournament is in front of the boys in Zimbabwe at present and they have got to pull it through.”