West Indies taking nothing for granted in ICC WC qualifying: Holder
London :Having fallen outside the top eight of the International Cricket Council’s one-day international rankings, the Windies must come through a preliminary tournament to take their place at next year’s finals in England.
Winners of the first two editions in 1975 and 1979, West Indies have not reached a World Cup final since, and face the prospect of not featuring at all if they do not progress from next month’s event in Zimbabwe.
Holder’s men have been drawn alongside Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea and United Arab Emirates in Group A. The best three sides will advance to a Super Six stage, from which the top two teams will secure a spot at the World Cup.
“In a tournament like this we know the opponents will be fearless, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Holder said.
“I believe every side in this tournament is dangerous and we must not take any team lightly. We will take every game as a final.
“Leading up to the first match against the United Arab Emirates, we should be more than ready when that challenge comes. We have two warm-up matches before the first tournament match, so we have been preparing well.
“We should not be short of cricket when that first match comes around.
“We have a very good balance, we have guys who can bowl the new ball very well and others who can take wickets in the middle overs and finish off well.
“In our batting we have power at the top of the order and power at the end. We also have players in the middle, who can consolidate and take over when necessary.”
Alfonso Thomas, a one-time South Africa international with 547 first-class wickets to his name, has been appointed as the Windies’ bowling coach ahead of the tournament.