Category Archives

    Media Releases

  • ALL
  • Windies Women open 2021 World Cup bid against Sri Lanka

    JOHN’S, Antigua – West Indies Women begin their bid for direct qualification to the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021, when they host Sri Lanka Women for a series of three One-day International and three Twenty20 Internationals next month.

    The three ODIs to be contested October 11, 13 and 15 at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad will form part of the new round of matches in the ICC Women’s Championship which will be contested between the leading eight women’s teams in the World – the Windies and the Sri Lankans, along with Australia, recently-crowned World champions England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa from now until March 2020.

    Following the conclusion of the ICC Women’s Championship, the top three ranked teams plus the hosts (New Zealand) automatically qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021. The remaining four teams will have a second chance to qualify through the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021 qualifier.

    The three T20Is on October 19, 21 and 22 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua will also be critical for the two sides, as they also look to prepare themselves for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Tournament to be staged in November next year in the Caribbean.

    The Windies Women are the defending World champions in the T20 format and will be looking to get themselves geared up for a purposeful defence of the title on home soil.

    SRI LANKA WOMEN TO WEST INDIES 2017

    SCHEDULE OF MATCHES

    October

    Sun 8               Trinidad & Tobago Women vs Sri Lanka Women – National Cricket Centre, Trinidad (9:30 start)

    Wed 11            1st ICC Women’s Championship One-day International – Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad (9:30 am start)

    Fri 13               2nd ICC Women’s Championship One-day International – Brian Lara Cricket Academy (2 pm start)

    Sun 15             3rd ICC Women’s Championship One-day International – Brian Lara Cricket Academy (9:30 am start)

    Thu 19             1st Twenty20 International – Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua (6:30 pm start)

    Sat 21              2nd Twenty20 International – Coolidge Cricket Ground (6:30 pm start)

    Sun 22             3rd Twenty20 International – Coolidge Cricket Ground (6:30 pm start)

  • Crushing loss for Windies after Ali’s assault, Plunkett’s ODI best

    BRISTOL, England, CMC — A blistering 94 from Chris Gayle and a career-best spell from Miguel Cummins failed to top Moeen Ali’s third One-day International hundred and Liam Plunkett’s best ODI bowling that swept England to a 124-run victory over West Indies in the third ODI on Sunday.

    The talismanic Gayle struck nine fours and six sixes from 78 balls to lead the Windies’ batting, but the Caribbean side were dismissed for 245 in 39.1 overs, chasing 370 for victory, at the Gloucestershire County Ground.

    Gayle dominated two half-century stands with Shai Hope and Jason Mohammed for the second and fourth wickets respectively before he was run out going for a single in the 27th over with West Indies needing 194 from the remaining 139 balls.

    None of the other batsmen could match the explosive batting of Gayle nor showed enough prolonged resistance to get the Windies anywhere close to their target.

    The Caribbean side lost their last six wickets for 53 in the space of 55 deliveries with Plunkett starring for England with the ball, taking 5-52 from 8.1 overs, and Adil Rashid showing support with 3-34 from six overs.

    The result meant that West Indies now trail 0-2 in the five-match series, following an eight-wicket defeat in the first ODI at Old Trafford and a no-result in the second ODI at Trent Bridge.

    Cummins had taken 3-82 from nine overs and skipper Jason Holder snared 2-81 from 10 overs before Ali marauded the Windies attack for 102 off just 57 balls to catapult England to 369 for nine from their allocation of 50 overs.

    Joe Root hit 84 from 79 balls, Ben Stokes made 73 from 63 balls, Alex Hales added 36 and Chris Woakes got 34 to beef up the England batting.

    West Indies then suffered an early setback, when left-handed opener Evin Lewis was caught at mid-on off left-arm fast-medium bowler David Willey for 13 off the last delivery of the second over of the chase, after smashing the same bowler for two leg-side sixes off the second and fifth balls of the over.

    Hope arrived, but was a mere passenger, as Gayle unleashed a volley of strokes to put the England bowlers on their heels and race West Indies to 73 for one at the end of the first Power Play — well ahead of the required run rate.

    Hope too, reeled off a few rasping strokes to share 64 with Gayle before he was caught behind for 20 in Plunkett’s second over, the 12th of the chase, and Marlon Samuels suffered a similar fate four overs later to leave the Windies 109 for three.

    Jason Mohammed came to the crease and a period of consolidation was broken, when Gayle hit Ali’s uncomplicated off-spin for three successive sixes in the 23rd over.

    Mohammed brought up the 50 stand with a cut through backward point for four off Ben Stokes, as the Caribbean side continued to stay ahead of the run rate.

    But the course of the match was ultimately changed, when Gayle narrowly failed to beat Adil Rashid’s direct hit at the bowler’s end from mid-wicket — and the rest of the batting collapsed under the weight of scoreboard pressure.

    Earlier, twice West Indies had England on the ropes, but each time through inconsistent bowling and shoddy fielding the home team were able to wriggle free to post their fifth highest ODI total, as Ali reached his milestone from 53 balls — the second fastest by an Englishman — when he cleared long-off with Cummins for his eighth six.

    West Indies conceded 123 in the last 10 overs of the innings during which time they coughed up five fours and nine sixes, and dropped Ali no less than three times, as he added 117 from just 77 balls for the seventh wicket with Woakes.

    Holder had made the initial breakthrough when he held a return catch to dismiss Jonny Bairstow for 13 in the sixth over, but England continued merrily to reach 65 for one at the end of the first Power Play.

    Two wickets — one apiece to Cummins and Holder — in the space of three deliveries left the English 74 for three in the 12th over, but Root and Stokes started the recovery for England with a 132-run, fourth-wicket stand.

    Rovman Powell struck in the 32nd over to remove Stokes caught at deep point before Cummins returned to have Jos Buttler bowled for two and Root lbw in successive overs, leaving England 217 for six in the 35th over.

    But the Windies let themselves down badly in the remaining overs in the field and failed to overcome the mountain of runs they required, though they scored briskly in the chase.

    The series continues on Wednesday at the Oval before it concludes two days later at the Rose Bowl.

    ENGLAND (50 overs maximum)

    J Bairstow c and b Holder 13

    A Hales lbw b Cummins 36

    J Root lbw b Cummins 84

    *E Morgan c wkpr Hope b Holder 0

    B Stokes c Lewis b Powell 73

    J Buttler lbw b Cummins 2

    Moeen Ali c Holder b Nurse 102

    C Woakes c Powell b Taylor 34

    L Plunkett run out (Taylor) 9

    D Willey not out 1

    A Rashid not out 9

    Extras (lb1, w3, nb2) 6

    TOTAL (9 wkts, 50 overs) 369

    Fall of wickets: 1-27 (Bairstown, 5.3 overs); 2-73 (Hales, 10.6); 3-74 (Morgan, 11.2); 4-206 (Stokes, 31.2); 5-210 (Buttler, 32.3); 6-217 (Root, 34.1); 7-334 (Woakes, 46.5); 8-354 (Ali, 48.5); 9-358 (Plunkett, 49.1)

    Bowling: Taylor 10-1-75-1 (nb1, w3); Holder 10-0-81-2 (nb1); Cummins 9-0-82-3; Bishoo 5-0-33-0; Nurse 8-0-59-1; Powell 8-0-38-1

    WEST INDIES (target: 370 off 50 overs)

    C Gayle run out (Rashid) 94

    E Lewis c Ali b Willey 13

    +S Hope c wkpr Buttler b Plunkett 20

    M Samuels c wkpr Buttler b Plunkett 11

    J Mohammed c Bairstow b Plunkett 38

    R Powell c Woakes b Rashid 8

    *J Holder c Ali b Plunkett 34

    A Nurse lbw b Rashid 1

    D Bishoo c Morgan b Plunkett 12

    J Taylor b Rashid 0

    M Cummins not out 4

    Extras (lb3, w7) 10

    TOTAL (all out, 39.1 overs) 245

    Fall of wickets: 1-16 (Lewis, 1.5 overs); 2-79 (Hope, 11.4); 3-109 (Samuels, 15.3); 4-176 (Gayle, 26.5); 5-192 (Powell, 29.6); 6-210 (Mohammed, 33.2); 7-212 (Nurse, 34.1); 8-241 (Bishoo, 37.6); 9-241 (Taylor, 38.1)

    Bowling: Woakes 7-1-32-0 (w1); Willey 4-0-34-1 (w1); Plunkett 8.1-0-52-5 (w1); Ali 10-0-65-0 (w2); Stokes 4-0-25-0 (w2); Rashid 6-0-34-3

    Result: England won by 124 runs

    Series: England lead five-match series 2-0

    Toss: West Indies

    Player-of-the-Match: Moeen Ali (England)

    Umpires: M Gough, S Fry (Australia)

    TV umpire: R Tucker (Australia)

    Match referee: J Srinath (India)

    Reserve umpire: T Robinson

  • Windies win toss, fielding vs England — 3rd ODI

    BRISTOL, England, CMC — West Indies won the toss and chose to field against England in the third One-day International on Sunday at the County Ground.

    The Windies have made two changes to their line-up with Chris Gayle recovering from injury and replacing Kyle Hope, and leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo replacing injured fast bowler Kesrick Williams. England are unchanged.

    Teams:

    ENGLAND — Eoin Morgan (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, David Willey

    WEST INDIES — Jason Holder (captain), Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (wicketkeeper), Marlon Samuels, Jason Mohammed, Rovman Powell, Ashley Nurse, Jerome Taylor, Devendra Bishoo, Miguel Cummins

    UMPIRES: Michael Gough, Simon Fry (Australia)

    TV UMPIRE: Rod Tucker (Australia)

    MATCH REFEREE: Javagal Srinath (India)

    RESERVE UMPIRE: Tim Robinson

  • NOTTINGHAM, England, CMC – Persistent rain allowed just 14 deliveries before forcing the abandonment of the second One-Day International between England and West Indies at Trent Bridge here Thursday.

    Sent in, the hosts had reached 21 without loss when the rains arrived after just 15 minutes of play to drive players from the field.

    The weather abated enough for a scheduled 1:15 pm (8:15 am Eastern Caribbean time) restart but quickly returned to squash any further hopes of play in the encounter.

    In the time available, Alex Hales struck two fours to be unbeaten on 10 while partner Jonny Bairstow, who made an unbeaten maiden hundred in the opening game at Old Trafford last Tuesday, was not out on nine.

    West Indies will now turn their attention to the third ODI of the five-match series scheduled for Bristol on Sunday.

    The Caribbean side lost the opening match by seven wickets to fall behind 1-0 in the series and also see their hopes of direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup dashed.

    Starting the rubber ninth in the ICC ODI rankings, they needed to sweep the series either 4-0 or 5-0 in order to overhaul Sri Lanka in eighth, and clinch the remaining automatic berth at the showpiece.

    Only hosts England, along with the remaining top-seven ranked sides by the September 30 cut-off date, qualify directly for the competition.

  • Windies win toss, fielding vs England – 2nd ODI

    NOTTTINGHAM, England, CMC – West Indies win the toss and sent England in to bat in the second One-Day International at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

    The Caribbean side have made onne change, bringing in Kyle Hope for opener Chris Gayle.

    TEAMS:

    ENGLAND – Eoin Morgan (captain), Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, David Willey, Liam Plunkett.

    WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Kyle Hope, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Marlon Samuels, Jason Mohammed, Rovman Powell, Jason Holder, Ashley Nurse, Miguel Cummins, Jerome Taylor, Kesrick Williams.

    UMPIRES: Rob Bailey, Rod Tucker; TV – Simon Fry.

  • Brooks to lead Windies A against Sri Lanka A

    JOHN’S, Antigua – The Selection Panel of Cricket West Indies announced on Tuesday a 13-member West Indies “A” squad for the first two “Tests” of their home series against Sri Lanka “A” next month.

    Only two members of the squad – vice-captain Vishal Singh and left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell – have featured for the senior men’s team in full international Tests, and Sunil Ambris is a current member of the senior One-day International squad playing against England.

    A number of the other players – including captain Shamarh Brooks – have featured in previous series either for Windies “A” or in tour matches against visiting international teams in the last two seasons.

    SQUAD

    Shamarh Brooks (Captain)

    Vishal Singh (Vice-Captain)

    Sunil Ambris

    John Campbell

    Yannic Cariah

    Rahkeem Cornwall

    Sheldon Cottrell

    Jahmar Hamilton

    Montcin Hodge

    Damion Jacobs

    Keon Joseph

    Reynard Leveridge

    Oshane Thomas

    Commenting on the squad, Chairman of the CWI Selection Panel, Courtney Browne said: “Our A-Team is the feeding ground for our senior men’s team and so we are looking to continue the development of our second-tier players. With a strong focus on consistency in selection, this series is another opportunity for them to continue to press their claims for a place in the senior side, thus placing selection pressure on incumbents, ensuring there is healthy competition for spots and growing our talent pool.”

    SCHEDULE OF MATCHES

    October

    Wed 11 to Sat 14        1st “Test” – Trelawny Multiplex, Jamaica

    Thu 19 to Sun 22         2nd “Test” – Trelawny Multiplex

    Thu 26 to Sun 29         3rd “Test” – Sabina Park, Jamaica

    November

    Wed 1                          1st One-day Match – Sabina Park

    Fri 3                             2nd One-day Match – Sabina Park

    Sun 5                           3rd One-day Match – Trelawny

  • We let ourselves down, laments Holder

    MANCHESTER, England, CMC – Skipper Jason Holder said Tuesday West Indies had let themselves down with “inconsistent” bowling after they lost the opening One-Day International of the five-match series by seven wickets to England.

    Though defending only 204 in a contest reduced to 42 overs per side at Old Trafford, Holder lamented his side’s lack of enterprise with the ball as England raced to their target in the 31st over courtesy of Jonny Bairstow’s maiden ODI hundred.

    “We lost wickets at crucial stages. Every time we tried to rebuild we lost a wicket and that doesn’t help the momentum,” Holder said afterwards.

    “Having said that, with runs on the board, I still felt we could have given a better account of ourselves with the ball. We let ourselves down [by being] just too inconsistent and allowing them to score a bit too freely.”

    He added: “We didn’t bowl as well as I thought we should. We were really inconsistent with our lines and lengths and we leaked boundaries.”

    The Caribbean side received a robust start from Chris Gayle as the left-hander blasted two fours and three sixes in a 27-ball 35, adding 45 off 33 balls for the first wicket with Evin Lewis (11).

    Once the pair departed in the space of 20 balls to leave the visitors on 53 for two in the ninth over, however, the innings wandered as Shai Hope (35) and Marlon Samuels (17) posted 50 for the third wicket but off 87 balls.

    They fell in close proximity of each other – 12 balls apart with four runs added – and the pressure told on the middle and lower order, leaving the Windies on an inadequate 203 for nine.

    Holder acknowledged that a lack of rotation of strike was to blame for the slow-down in momentum.

    “If we’re not getting boundaries we need to rotate the strike and it showed today. In the middle we got a little stuck so it’s an area we need to improve on in terms of rotating the strike,” Holder stressed.

    “It’s been an area of concern for a long time for us. We’re naturally a boundary-hitting team but if the boundaries aren’t coming we need to find another option.”

    The defeat meant West Indies will now have to resort to contesting a 10-team qualifier next year in order to reach the 2019 World Cup in England. They can now only finish ninth in the ICC ODI rankings by the September 30 cut-off date, outside the top-right ranking required for direct qualification.

    But Holder said their immediate focus was completing the ongoing series and playing competitively.

    “There’s definitely work to be done [in the future] but we’ve just got to focus on this series first. We’ve got to pick ourselves up and head back to Trent Bridge in two days time [for the second ODI].”

  • Old Trafford defeat sends Windies into World Cup qualifiers

    MANCHESTER, England, CMC – West Indies’ dismal One-Day International form continued with a seven-wicket defeat to England in the critical opener at Old Trafford here Tuesday, a result that condemned the Caribbean side to a 10-team qualifying tournament in order to reach the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

    Needing to sweep the five-match series in order to achieve direction qualification for the showpiece, West Indies put themselves under pressure when they could muster 203 for nine in the contest reduced to 42 overs per side following a two-hour delayed start due to a wet outfield.

    Captain Jason Holder top-scored with an unbeaten 41 off 33 deliveries while opener Chris Gayle, in his first ODI in two years, belted a typically aggressive 37 off 27 balls.

    Stylish right-hander Shai Hope carved out an attractive 35 while Rovman Powell got 23, but no other Windies batsman passed 20.

    As expected, England made light work of the target, coasting home in the 31st over with Jonny Bairstow celebrating his promotion the top of the order with 100 not out – his maiden ODI century.

    Test captain Joe Root chipped in with a polished 54 while all-rounder Ben Stokes arrived at the end to help formalise the result with a cameo unbeaten 23 off 15 balls.

    The defeat was the 16th in the last 21 ODIs for West Indies and their 12th loss in their last 17 outings to England.

    West Indies, two-time former World champions, will now battle minnows Ireland, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, along with four teams from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and another two from the ICC World Cricket League Division Two, in a tournament next year in order to reach the World Cup.

    Opting to bat first, West Indies were given a rousing start by Gayle and Evin Lewis (11) who put on 45 off 33 deliveries.

    The left-handed Gayle, dropped at second slip by Root off the third ball of the innings from pacer Chris Woakes before he had scored, looked in great touch, smashing two fours and three straight sixes to dominate the stand.

    However, Lewis pulled a long hop from Moeen Ali to Alex Hales at square leg in the off-spinner’s first over, and Gayle followed 20 balls later with 10 runs added when he holed out to deep mid-off to a brilliant running catch by Root off Woakes.

    Hope stroked five boundaries as he consolidated in a 50-run, third wicket partnership with Marlon Samuels before he too perished softly, whipping an ordinary delivery from seamer Stokes off his hip to be caught at square leg by Bairstow in the 24th over.

    Samuels, who consumed 46 balls in making a boundary-less 17, departed 12 balls later at 107 for four in the 26th over brushing a leg-side catch behind off Stokes.

    Powell and Jason Mohammed (18) then propped up the innings by adding a run-a-ball 42 for the fifth wicket but once they were separated, West Indies lost five wickets for 53 runs to decline.

    It was left to Holder to wag the tail, the right-hander thumping five fours to push his side beyond the 200-run mark.

    Stokes finished with three for 43 while leg-spinner Adil Rashid (2-31) and Woakes (2-41) picked up two wickets apiece.

    Requiring a strong opening burst, the Windies claimed Alex Hales cheaply for 19 when Lewis held a juggling catch at point off seamer Jerome Taylor with the score on 31 for one in the fifth over.

    However, the joy was short-lived as Bairstow and Root came together in a 125-run, second wicket stand which killed off the Windies hopes of a victory.

    All told, Bairstow faced 97 balls and counted 11 fours in a well-paced knock, reaching his landmark in the last over of the game with a punch to deep over off off-spinner Ashley Nurse for three runs.

    Root meanwhile, struck four boundaries off 53 balls before chopping on to seamer Kesrick Williams (2-50) in the 24th over and captain Eoin Morgan’s lean run continued when he nicked one behind off the same bowler three overs later, to perish for 10.

    But Stokes provided a swift end to the encounter, lashing a four and a pair of sixes – the last of which sealed the rout for the hosts.

    WEST INDIES

    C Gayle c Root b Woakes 37

    E Lewis c Hales b Ali 11

    +S Hope c Bairstow b Stokes 35

    M Samuels c wkp Buttler b Stokes 17

    J Mohammed c Hales b Rashid 18

    R Powell c Willey b Woakes 23

    *J Holder not out 41

    A Nurse c Root b Rashid 1

    D Bishoo b Willey 5

    J Taylor c wkp Buttler b Stokes 2

    K Williams not out 0

    Extras (lb3, w9, nb2) 14

    TOTAL (9 wkts, 42 overs) 204

    Fall of wickets: 1-45, 2-53, 3-103, 4-107, 5-149, 6-150, 7-160, 8-187, 9-202.

    Bowling: Woakes 8-0-41-2 (w2), Willey 6-0-39-1 (w1), Ali 2-0-5-1, Rashid 9-0-31-2, Plunkett 8-0-42-0 (w2), Stokes 9-0-43-3 (w4, nb2).

    ENGLAND

    J Bairstow not out 100

    A Hales c Lewis b Taylor 19

    J Root b Williams 54

    *E Morgan c wkp Hope b Williams 10

    B Stokes not out 23

    Extras (w4) 4

    TOTAL (3 wkts, 30.5 overs) 210

    Did not bat: +J Buttler, M Ali, A Rashid, C Woakes, D Willey, L Plunkett.

    Fall of wickets: 1-31, 2-156, 3-175.

    Bowling: Taylor 7-0-46-1 (w1), Holder 3-0-18-0, Williams 6-0-50-2 (w1), Nurse 8.5-0-48-0 (w1), Bishoo 6-0-48-0.

    Result: England won by seven wickets.

    Series: England lead five-match series 1-0.

    Man-of-the-Match: Jonny Bairstow.

    Toss: West Indies.

    Umpires: Simon Fry, Tim Robinson; TV – Rod Tucker

  • Gayle return brings wealth of knowledge, says Holder

    MANCHESTER, England, CMC – The return of the self-proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’, Chris Gayle, to West Indies one-day colours following a two-year absence, is expected to strengthen the Caribbean side’s batting in the upcoming five-match series against England.

    But while his 9 221 runs from 269 One-Day Internationals speak volumes, captain Jason Holder said Monday it was the 37-year-old’s wealth of knowledge which would be a major asset to the squad off the field.

    “Chris is always a guy who shares his advice [and] shares his input. Sometimes he tends to let things happen in terms of giving players the leeway to execute and free themselves,” Holder explained.

    “We always stress on that in the dressing room where we’re not complicating or clogging players’ minds as to what game they want to play.

    “And Chris has been a really good exponent of that over the years for himself. He’s been very clear on his game plans and how he wants to go about his cricket, and that’s one thing he has brought to the group – just be yourself and just express yourself.”

    He added: “He’s been obviously one that players tend to go to in terms of seeking advice and he’s never shy of a word to give them as much advice and guidance as he can.”

    Gayle, a former Windies captain, is set to play his first ODI since the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, when the West Indies take on England at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

    The left-hander has largely plied his trade in the shortest format in recent years but has recently expressed a desire to represent the Caribbean side at the 2019 World Cup scheduled for England.

    Freed for selection after Cricket West Indies shelved their controversial eligibility rule, Gayle was an automatic choice for the current tour and Holder said he had already brought his flamboyant personality to the camp.

    “So far Chris seems to be in really good spirits,” Holder told reporters.

    “He’s always a lively character in the dressing room and he’s been really good for us, so I don’t expect anything different from him in the series.”

    With Gayle and most of the leading players barred from selection, West Indies suffered adverse results off the field and failed to qualify for the Champions Trophy staged here earlier this year.

    Those results – they have won just three of their last 20 ODIs – have also left them unlikely to achieve direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup as they languish ninth in the ICC rankings.

    However, Holder said past disappointments were now behind the squad and the focus was squarely on the current series.

    “That’s in the past. Obviously we didn’t qualify for the Champions Trophy so it wasn’t ideal but it was the situation,” the all-rounder stressed.

    “We can’t dwell on that, we’ve got to move forward and shift our focus here now in England. This is the current series we’re up against. We need to take it step by step, game by game and formulate our plans and go out and try and execute them.”

  • PREVIEW: Windies chase unlikely whitewash to keep alive World Cup hopes

    MANCHESTER, England, CMC – Unpredictable West Indies face the improbable task of whitewashing favourites England in their five-match One-Day International series starting here Tuesday, as they chase a quickly dissipating dream of direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup.

    The Caribbean side’s recent poor form has seen them plunge to number nine in the ICC ODI rankings, with only hosts England and the remaining top seven sides by the September 30 cut-off date later this month, gaining automatic berths at the showpiece in England.

    What makes a whitewash even more difficult for the Windies is the fact they have not beaten England in a one-day series in 10 years and are without a series success over a top-six side in the ICC rankings in five years.

    They have won just three of their last 20 ODIs and even struggled against minnows Bangladesh in a three-match series in the Caribbean in June, managing only a 1-1 draw.

    While stressing that a clean sweep of the hosts was not an impossibility, however, captain Jason Holder was also under no illusions about the massive challenge before his squad, pointing out the need to play at their best in order to get the results needed.

    “It’s not going to be an easy task but it’s not impossible. I think that win there in Durham from the T20 team has given the side a boost,” the all-rounder told a media conference here Monday ahead of the day/night affair at Old Trafford.

    “A few of the guys are overlapping into this one series so hopefully these guys can ride on the back of that game and hopefully bring it (momentum) into this series.

    “We’ve got to take it one game at a time. I think we need to win 5-0 to qualify which wouldn’t be easy but as I said before wouldn’t be impossible as well.

    “I’ve stressed in the dressing room [the need for] consistency. I think if we are consistent with our performances and basically our processes, I think we will give ourselves a really good chance of winning the series.”

    West Indies have been boosted by the return of the experienced Jamaican pair of Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, after Cricket West Indies freed them for selection by temporarily shelving the controversial eligibility rule.

    The embattled side now have at their disposal two players with 456 ODIs between them and Holder hopes their presence can help garner the results required.

    “We’re just hoping that these guys can put in some really good performances,” he noted.

    “Chris looked really good in the T20 game and he’s been carrying some form in our T20 tournament back home so hopefully that can translate that into this one-day series and he can get us off to a really good start with his partner Evin Lewis.”

    Samuels’s first appearance in an ODI in nearly a year is expected to take on special significance as he is likely to renew his heated rivalry with England all-rounder Ben Stokes.

    The pair clashed during a Test series in the Caribbean two years ago and then again at last year’s Twenty20 World Cup in India, potentially setting the stage for even more fireworks over the next two weeks.

    And even though Holder said Samuels was free to express himself, he said of greater worth was his contribution to team results.

    “Marlon is one competitive guy and he likes a good competition. Whether that (feud with Stokes) is something beneficial to him, he would have to decide that. I can’t really sit here and tell you,” Holder said.

    “Whatever Marlon needs to do to get himself fired up I’m quite happy for him to do it, once it is within the spirit of the game and he doesn’t go too overboard.

    “But Marlon has been a really good player for us over the years especially in one day cricket and hopefully he can bring that stability in the middle order for us and bat deep into the innings, and put us in a really great position and give our bowlers something to work with.”

    The younger brigade including the likes of rising Test star Shai Hope, his older brother Kyle Hope, Lewis and Kesrick Williams, will also be expected to carry much of the burden for the Windies performances.

    And though there was heavy importance on the series, Holder stressed he would not be shackling his players.

    “Obviously player management comes in and just giving players the license and freedom to play their roles as best as they possibly can,” he said.

    “That’s one part of it. The rest is ideally down to them to execute so I try to give everybody the leeway to execute their games so hopefully our guys can come in and put on a really good show in this series.”

    The contest bowls off at 12:30 pm (7:30 am Eastern Caribbean time).

    SQUADS:

    ENGLAND – Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Jake Ball, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes.

    WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Jason Mohammed (vice-captain), Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Miguel Cummins, Chris Gayle, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Kesrick Williams.