Cricket World Cup Profile: West Indies play for the badge in front
The West Indies may be lowly-ranked on the ICC ODI table, but they have the arsenal to surprise anyone of the major nations to ensure a lengthy run at #CWC19.
After the two-time champions had to endure the ignominy of having to qualify for this World Cup, the Windies have managed to turn around their fortunes in spectacular fashion.
Through the assured leadership of Jason Holder, they have formed a unit that plays first for the badge in front, and not the name on the back.
Coupled with the return of some of the “rebels” like Chris Gayle and Andre Russell, in addition to a host of exciting young talent, the Windies will head to this World Cup knowing they have the firepower – with bat and ball – to hurt any side.
They certainly showed it against England at home recently, when they held the World No 1 outfit to a 2-2 draw in a hugely-entertaining series. Their only drawback may be their lackadaisical attitude in the field.
The Playmaker: Shimron Hetmyer
In a team that boasts the explosive power of Gayle and Russell, Hetmyer must be a special talent for former Windies coach Stuart Law to term him a "once-in-a-generation cricketer". And even more so when the legendary Sir Garry Sobers says the dashing left-hander reminds him of his younger self.
Hetmyer, 22, has already tasted ICC World Cup success, having led the Windies Under-19s to glory a few years ago in Bangladesh. Has the ability to blow hot and cold, but if he’s hot at this World Cup, the bowlers better beware!
Mr Dependable: Shai Hope
The Windies’ most consistent batsman over the last 12 months with scores of 170, 109, 30, 87 and 74 in his last five innings alone. Has fond memories of English conditions too, having lead the Caribbean outfit to a famous Test victory with centuries in each innings at Headingley two years ago. Only last week he was part of the highest ever ODI opening partnership of 365 with John Campbell in Dublin.
It's that time again! The #MenInMaroon are back in training with just 6 days left before the start of #CWC19. Thanks to the good folks @bathcricket for the warm hospitality! WI feel right at home! #ItsOurGame #WIAllIn pic.twitter.com/g5nNyc3LzF— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) May 24, 2019
The Rookie: Nicholas Pooran
Four years ago a road accident in Trinidad almost finished the young wicket-keeper/batsman’s career, but now he is ready to make an impact on the biggest stage. Having only a four-ball debut duck to his credit prior to this World Cup, everyone might be thinking what’s all the fuss about? But this 23-year-old is a dynamo with the willow, as he showed in the recent IPL where the great MS Dhoni took him under his wing.
World Cup Squad
Jason Holder (captain), Andre Russell, Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Kemar Roach, Nicholas Pooran, Oshane Thomas, Shai Hope, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer.@ZaahierAdams