Thanks guys! - Holder hails Gayle, Samuels for committing to qualifiers

February 28, 2018
West Indies star batsman Chris Gayle celebrates after teammate Marlon Samuels (right) hits the winning runs in a recent ICC World Twenty20 match against New Zealand.

HARARE, Zimbabwe (CMC):

West Indies captain Jason Holder has praised the involvement of veteran Jamaican batsmen Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, both of whom have made themselves available for the ICC World Cup qualifiers.

"I must commend Chris and guys like Marlon, who have come here with that motivation to do well for the West Indies and give themselves a chance to play another World Cup," he said.

"As I said to the group, it may be an opportunity for guys to finish their careers well, it's also an opportunity for guys to make a spark in their careers by playing in the World Cup."

Holder's comments follow a warning from Cricket West Indies (CWI) president, Dave Cameron, that Trinidadians Darren Bravo, Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard may never play for West Indies again, following their reluctance to represent the regional side at the qualifiers.

CWI said the Trinidadian trio had snubbed offers to be included in the 15-man squad for the all-important March 4-25 tournament, where West Indies will be vying for one of the remaining two spots at the 2019 World Cup in England.

Instead, the three players opted to fulfil their commitments in the Pakistan Super League, which bowled off February 22 and runs parallel to the qualifiers.

 

OPPORTUNITY

 

Cameron said CWI would "probably" review the trio's involvement in West Indies cricket.

"We asked them to do the math and balance, give us an opportunity and play for us this time," the Jamaican administrator said.

"We were very disappointed about it (players' decision) and the board in its wisdom, feels that after this World Cup the qualifiers we'll probably not invite those players to be part of Cricket West Indies going forward."

The Caribbean side, two-time former champions, are forced to go through the qualifiers here in order to reach the World Cup, after finishing outside the top eight in the ICC one-day ranking by the qualification cut-off date of September 30 last year.

West Indies' first challenge, however, will be to navigate their way through Group A of the qualifiers, as they come up against ICC World Cricket League Division Two champion, United Arab Emirates, Papua New Guinea, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Their one-day form over the last year has been wretched, winning just three of 23 matches, and Holder said the qualifying tournament presented the opportunity to find some consistency.

"Over the last few years, we probably haven't played the cricket we would've like to play but having said that, all the guys are motivated and we know what is at stake," Holder pointed out.

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