Windies entering World Cup as underdogs but optimistic of lifting title- Holder

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Jason Holder celebrates a wicket (Getty Images)

The Windies captain Jason Holder has expressed resolve and optimism that his side not only wants to feature in another Lord’s final but also wants to lift the World Cup once again after the two-time former world champions’ schedule in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 was confirmed today.

“We want to be there at Lord’s in the final to lift the trophy – we believe we are good enough to win it,” said 26-year-old fast bowler, adding: “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” he told the ICC.

The Windies, who won the first two tournaments when they were staged in England in 1975 and 1979, will only visit Lord’s if they reach the final as they have no matches scheduled in London.

Their opening two matches are at Trent Bridge in Nottingham against the 1992 world champions and reigning ICC Champions Trophy winners Pakistan on 31 May, and against defending champions Australia on 6 June.

They will then travel to Southampton where they will play South Africa and England on 10 and 14 June respectively at Hampshire Bowl, while their fifth match in the 10-team single-league tournament will be against Bangladesh on June 17 at the County Ground in Taunton.

Old Trafford, once upon a time the second home to the legendary Clive Lloyd, will be their venue for the next two matches against New Zealand and India on 22 and 27 June respectively.

Their penultimate round match will be against Sri Lanka at The Riverside in Chester-le-Street on 1 July, while the repeat of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier final against Afghanistan will take place on 4 July at Headingley, Leeds.

Holder, who has taken 106 wickets in 77 ODIs to date, said: “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.

“We took the qualifiers route to get to this World Cup, but that was a blessing in disguise as it brought us closer as a team and we grew as a unit during that tournament. For the World Cup, we will enter as underdogs but we believe in each other and know who and what we are playing for.”

Shai Hope (Photo: Getty Images)

Shai Hope, who will be looking forward to featuring in his maiden World Cup, said: “We have to make sure we play quality cricket and tick off the wins as best as we can. There is nothing that we can change (about the tournament format). We go out there and play the cricket, as long as we play and win, we will be in the semis.

“Me personally, it will be a great feeling (to win the World Cup). I’ve always wanted to win the World Cup, that is one of my biggest dreams. I’m sure I can also say that for the rest of the players in the team. There is a lot to look forward to.”

The Windies’ schedule of World Cup matches:

31 May – v Pakistan, Trent Bridge (d)

6 June – v Australia, Trent Bridge (d)

10 June – v South Africa, Hampshire Bowl (d)

14 June – v England, Hampshire Bowl (d)

17 June – v Bangladesh, Taunton (d)

22 June – v New Zealand, Old Trafford (d/n)

27 June – v India, Old Trafford (d)

1 July – v Sri Lanka, The Riverside (d)

4 July – v Afghanistan, Headingley (d)

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