Windies taking proactive approach, says Holder

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – West Indies captain Jason Holder says planning has already begun for the ICC World Cup qualifiers in March, as the Caribbean side looks to book their spot in the 2019 oneday showpiece in England. The schedule for the much-anticipated qualifiers was released by the International Cricket Council on Monday, with West Indies installed in Group A along with Ireland, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea and the winners of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 tournament from February 8- 15 in Namibia.
“We see this as a very important tournament,” the 26- year-old Holder said of the March 4-25 campaign in Zimbabwe. “We all know the magnitude and importance of this event as we look to qualify for the World Cup in the United Kingdom next year. “It will be a challenge and we sat down and have formulated plans as to how best to approach the tournament.”
West Indies open their bid on March 6 against the yet-tobe-determined WCL Division 2 winners, before taking on Papua New Guinea two days later. On March 10, they face their sternest test of the competition against Ireland, before wrapping up against the Netherlands. Group play will be on a round-robin basis, with the top three advancing to the Super Six stage, where each side will then play three matches against the sides they did not meet in the group stage. The top two teams will qualify for the final and also book their spots at the World Cup.
Holder, who has led West Indies in ODIs forthe last three years, said it was important his side approached the tournament with an aggressive mindset. “It will be short and we will treat every match as a must-win game,” the allrounder pointed out. “With three teams from each group moving into the Super Sixes, and the top two moving to the final – thereby earning a spot at the World Cup – there is all to play for.” Two-time former World Cup champions, West Indies were forced into the qualifiers after missing out on direct qualification because of their ninth-placed ranking in the ICC charts.

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