WEST INDIES: Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd has predicted that all rounders will play a vital role in the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.
Lloyd opined that the flat pitches in England would make things difficult for bowlers, which meant that being multi-dimensional gave players a better chance of succeeding at the mega-event. “From Afghanistan to England, or from India to West Indies, every team is blessed with top-class all-rounders,” Lloyd said. “That’s why I believe it will be an all-rounders’ World Cup.”
Lloyd also sounded hopeful of a good showing from West Indies at this year’s event. West Indies drew a five-match series against England, the top-ranked team in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings, in March this year. They have also made the final of the Ireland tri-nation series, after picking up two resounding victories over the tournament hosts.
Lloyd cited the selectors’ decision to recall players such as Andre Russell, who last played ODI cricket in August 2018 but has been successful in T20 tournaments around the world in the interim, saying it will bolster their chances at the tournament.
“The West Indies Cricket Board has brought back the main players who have been doing well in different tournaments around the world. They will try their best,” he said. “During the last 20-odd years, we lost so many good cricketers. I think the good cricketers have again come up with the intention of doing good.”
Lloyd went with a conventional choice when asked to pick the favourites to win the 2019 edition. “There is a strong wave in UK that England will do well this time,” he said. “No doubt they had done well in recent years. They are a good balanced side. England will be a very tough competitor this time.”
Lloyd is a two-time World Cup-winning captain, having led West Indies to the title in the first two editions, in 1975 and 1979. West Indies were also the odds-on favourite to win the trophy a third successive time in 1983, before being stunned by Kapil Dev’s India in the final, where they were bowled out for 140 and lost by 43 runs.
“We all thought anyone of us will go to the wicket and score the runs. But just the opposite happened,” he said. “We came back one after another. I have to give credit to our bowlers, who did not allow the Indians to score even 200 runs in a 60-over game. We, the batsmen, could not deliver.”