Darren Sammy © Ike Li / Ike Images
Darren Sammy © Ike Li / Ike Images

The volatility of West Indies cricket has no parallels. In 2015, they failed to finish in the top eight ODI rankings by the cut-off date and didn’t qualify for 2017 Champions Trophy. It was the first time a major ICC event was held without West Indies — winners of the 1975 and 1979 World Cups, 2004 Champions Trophy and 2012 and 2016 World T20.

In 2016 — a year after they failed to qualify — they did a unique treble by winning the Under-19 World Cup as well as the Women’s and Men’s World T20. They almost pulled off a near-impossible as well, coming close to beating Pakistan in a Test series in the UAE.

Another year on, they failed to secure a direct qualification to the 2019 World Cup. That’s West Indies.

Darren Sammy, who led the side to two World T20 wins, hopes there wouldn’t be another ICC event without the Caribbean side. He had famously spoken about the positives of hitting the rock bottom: “You can only go up from there.”

Sammy expressed his confidence on the West Indian side that will play the World Cup qualifiers that will be held in Zimbabwe next month.

Sammy is currently playing T20 franchise leagues around the world, but has all the interest of West Indies cricket at heart despite his fallout with the board. He hopes they will play the 2019 World Cup, a tournament they “have always been part of”.

Darren Sammy: Feels good to play a small part in bringing cricket back to Pakistan
Darren Sammy: Feels good to play a small part in bringing cricket back to Pakistan

“I wish the guys all the best and I hope we finish in the top two and be a part of the World Cup 2019. It will be very sad if we can’t qualify. I have confidence that players could pull through and qualify for the prestigious tournament that we have always been part of,” added Sammy, while representing the champion side Hung Hom Jaguars in the Hong Kong T20 Blitz 2018.

West Indies will play two warm-up matches at Harare Sports Club before taking on the World Cricket League Division Two champions at Harare on March 4. They are placed in Group A alongside Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea and the WCL Division 2 winner.

West Indies Squad: Jason Holder(c), Jason Mohammed, Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Nikita Miller, Ashley Nurse, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Kesrick Williams.