Updated: June 21, 2019
Author: Staff Writer

West Indies – 2019 Cricket World Cup Preview

In this guide, we will take a look at the West Indies, a team who won the first two editions of the World Cup back in 1975 and 1979. This article will cover that World Cup history. It will also bring us right up to date as we look at the West Indies 2019 Cricket World Cup team’s chances of winning this upcoming tournament.

The strengths and weaknesses of the current West Indies 2019 Cricket World Cup squad will be put under the spotlight. We’ll also ask whether you should be taking a Satta on Jason Holder’s men this year.

How West Indies got to the 2019 Cricket World Cup

It was something of an embarrassment for West Indies fans that they had to qualify for the 2019 World Cup. However, their ODI ranking wasn’t good enough to progress automatically. The team duly went to the qualifying rounds in Zimbabwe, where they made it through to the final in March 2018.

Afghanistan beat the Windies quite comfortably in that game. Nevertheless, the rules stated that both finalists would proceed to the 2019 tournament. Therefore, the West Indies are through but only after the ignominy of pre-qualifying.

West Indies’ odds to win the 2019 Cricket World Cup

The West Indies have such a rich history in World Cup cricket. But anyone taking a Satta on the 2019 West Indians will find them among the outsiders. Betway are currently quoting 21.00 on the Windies to win this year’s tournament, although they are a little shorter in other places.

They are, however, the reigning T20 World Champions. And while much of that 20/20 squad doesn’t compete in the 50 over format, should we be writing off the West Indies 2019 Cricket World Cup odds just yet? Read on to uncover our thoughts.

West Indies history in the World Cup

When the first World Cup was held in England back in 1975, One Day international cricket was in its infancy. Only a handful of ODIs had ever been played and T20 cricket wouldn’t come in for another 28 years.

– 1975 to 1979

Despite that lack of indicators, the tipsters suspected that the West Indies had the strongest side ahead of that tournament. Their faith would be truly justified. At the start of the competition, the 1975 Windies were placed in a tough group along with Australia and Pakistan. However, they came through with relative ease and three wins from three set up a semi final clash with New Zealand. A comfortable five wicket victory over the Kiwis took Clive Lloyd’s side through to the finals where Australia laid in wait.

A historic occasion ended with a well-deserved success. West Indies made an impressive 291/8 with the skipper LLoyd making 102. And while the Aussies battled to the end, they were dismissed for 274 and thus handed the West Indies the first-ever World Cup trophy.

Four years later, in 1979, the West Indies would repeat that success with back to back titles. The tournament was held in England once again. And once more, theWindies made it into the knockouts as winners of Group B. Their semi final opponents this time were Pakistan and a century opening stand from Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes set up a comfortable 43 run win.

Hosts England waited in the final and they took early Windies wickets. Nevertheless, a fightback from Viv Richards and Collis King saw their side post 286/9. England were never in the chase and were eventually all out for just 194.

– 1983 to 1996

In 1983, it seemed as though we would see yet another West Indian success. However, India had other ideas. In an extended tournament, the Windies topped Group B but lost their first ever World Cup match – to India – along the way. When a comfortable semi final victory over Pakistan followed, it looked like they were set for a third straight success. After India had made just 183 in the final, though, the Windies replied with 140 to lose by 43 runs in one of the greatest Cricket World Cup matches ever.

Since that 1983 defeat, the West Indies have failed to make it to the final of any subsequent tournament. It wasn’t a decline because other countries were catching up and learning how to play the short form of the game.

We pick things up again in 1987 when India and Pakistan co-hosted the tournament. Australia were the eventual winners. And with three losses from three, the Windies failed to make it out of the groups.

The 1992 competition gave us a new, Round Robin group stage with the top four teams progressing to the next phase. The West Indies could only finish in sixth and were therefore leaving early once again.

Would the 1996 World Cup see a return to glory days? The West Indies made it out of their groups despite only winning two of five games. And they produced a much better performance to defeat South Africa in the quarter finals. However, the semi final was a step too far this time as a strong Australian team defeated the Windies by the narrow margin of just five runs.

– 1999 to 2015

In 1999, the competition returned to the UK for the first time in 16 years. Nevertheless, the Windies were unable to recapture past glories. Playing in Group B, they were one of three teams to finish that section with six points. Still, a weaker net run rate saw the West Indies eliminated.

From here, the World Cup entered a regular four-year cycle so we head to Africa in 2003. Once again, it was a tournament to forget for the West Indies. The team won three from six group matches, but that record wasn’t enough to see them through to the next stage.

Would things improve when the Caribbean played host to the World Cup in 2007? Things started positively enough as the Windies won all three games to progress as winners of Group D. From there, we entered a Super 8 stage. Nonetheless, two wins from seven was a poor return. The side were then eliminated at this point.

2011 produced another mixed group stage. But with three wins from six, the Windies progressed ahead of Bangladesh by virtue of a higher net run rate. The subsequent quarter final was instantly forgettable. Having posted just 112, Pakistan chased down the West Indies’ low total without losing a wicket.

The 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand brings us right up to date. And for the West Indies, it followed a similar pattern to the tournament four years previously. Once again, they scraped through the groups – this time ahead of Ireland on net run rate. But in the quarters,New Zealand soundly beat them and won by 143 runs after posting 393/6.

It has been a tale of early success and modern day failure. But can the West Indies reverse that trend at the 2019 World Cup?

West Indies’ best player heading into the 2019 Cricket World Cup

He’s coming to the end of his international career, but West Indies’ star batsman Chris Gayle still has a big role to play at the play at the 2019 World Cup. As we saw when the Windies took on England in February and March, Gayle is instrumental in building big totals and he started that series with a typically brutal century.

After the second game of that series, Chris Gayle had played 287 ODIs and was approaching 10,000 runs. He’d made 24 centuries with a highest score of 215 at a strike rate of 86. Gayle will need to be managed over a long tournament, though. Especially at the age of 39 and with a weary body. However, the big Jamaican still remains the West Indies’ top Cricket World Cup player.

West Indies 2019 Cricket World Cup schedule

Here is a full list of the West Indies 2019 Cricket World Cup squad’s confirmed group fixtures for the 2019 tournament. Included are the set days for the knockout rounds should they progress that far. You can also check out the full 2019 Cricket World Cup schedule.

Date Venue Opponents
May 31st Trent Bridge Pakistan
June 6th Trent Bridge Australia
June 10th Southampton South Africa
June 14th Southampton England
June 17th Taunton Bangladesh
June 22nd Old Trafford New Zealand
June 27th Old Trafford India
July 1st Durham Sri Lanka
July 4th Headingley Afghanistan
July 9th Old Trafford Semi Final One
July 11th Edgbaston Semi Final Two
July 14th Lord’s Final

West Indies’ biggest question mark heading into the World Cup

The West Indies won those opening World Cups in the 1970s. Power hitting batsmen and a battery of bowlers with serious pace accounted for much of their success, though. The power hitting remains, to an extent. But while the West Indies 2019 Cricket World Cup side will likely field four seamers, they won’t be striking the same kind of fear into opposing batsmen.

With injury doubts over Kemar Roach, there is even less chance of the 2019 attack emulating the success of Holding, Roberts, Marshall and Garner from the 1970s. West Indies batters will need to score big because their bowlers can be expensive.

West Indies biggest area of strength heading into the World Cup

We’ve touched on the batsmen and they are the West Indies 2019 Cricket World Cup team’s stronger players by some distance. We’ve already identified Chris Gayle as the squad’s best player. We can also add powerful hitters including Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite and John Campbell.

Devastating top order hitting is the West Indies 2019 Cricket World Cup squad’s strength. It is also key to this side going deep into the tournament in 2019.