Forty years since West Indies last lifted the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup trophy, in 1979, current captain Jason Holder is confident that his team can repeat history.
“I’m very optimistic,” Holder told Sports mail. “I think we’ve got what it takes to win the World Cup. It’s just a matter of the kind of cricket we play. We’ve potentially got match-winners on any given day and we can beat any side in the world.
“We’re confident that once we formulate our plans and execute them, we’ll be up there lifting that trophy at the very end.”
Windies last played a multi-format series against England, whom they beat 2-1 in the Tests. It was Windies’ first series win against England in the long format in 10 years. Holder, who was adjudged Player of the Match for his career-best 202* in front of his home crowd in Barbados, had a big part to play in it himself.
The limited-overs leg was more of a mixed bag, with Windies drawing the five-match one-day international series 2-2, but conceding the Twenty20 Internationals that followed by a 3-0 margin. However, Holder felt that holding the No.1 side in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings to a stalemate would hold Windies in good stead.
“I don’t think it’s all sunk in yet,” he said. “It was a surreal feeling scoring a double century in front of my home crowd and competing against the No.1 one-day side in the world and pushing them right until the end says a lot about our potential.”
If Holder leads West Indies to the World Cup, he will have emulated Clive Lloyd, whom Holder is very close to and has been taking advice from. “Growing up, you track history,” Holder said. “Clive Lloyd lifted two World Cups in 1975 and 1979, and it’s up to us to try to achieve something similar.
“He and I are very close. He’s given me a lot of advice about how to go about my international experience. He always said to me that it took three years for him to understand how to play Test cricket. Having played Test cricket for a while, I realize what he meant.”
Holder further said that West Indies are still a work in progress but are on the path to success. “Our boys are probably not the finished product, but we’re definitely on the right path to becoming pretty good West Indian players. If we stick together for the next two or three years, the sky’s the limit,” he said.
“And, being in England, this was the last place we lifted the World Cup. Who knows, maybe there’s a script to be written there.”
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