SYDNEY, Australia, Wednesday October 29, 2014, CMC – World Cup boss John Harden says he is confident that former champions West Indies will appear at next year’s event in Australia and New Zealand.
Harden offered his assurance as the cricketing world continues to debate the fallout from the West Indies decision to controversially cut short their tour of India.
The tour was aborted over a protracted pay dispute involving the West Indies players, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA).
“The cricket World Cup from a player’s perspective really is about the ultimate prize in cricket so you can see they are really going to want to play here,” said Harden.
“They have got a unique team at the moment where they’ve got some great players and this could be a chance if they all band together and put this behind them, they will not want as players to miss out on this opportunity”.
Harnden admits there will be a contingency in place for a possible West Indies no-show next February, but insists he is confident the crisis in Caribbean cricket will be resolved before the tournament.
He said he doubts West Indies players would be prepared to forsake a shot at cricket’s most prestigious global prize, and the prospect of missing out on participation fees is expected to serve as a powerful incentive.
“Everyone is disappointed with what happened in India but I have got no doubt that cool heads will prevail and everything will be sorted out well before the World Cup and in fact before the South African tour later this year,” Harnden said.
“Again, we are very confident that the West Indies will be here and they will play some fantastic cricket, and I’m sure the public around the world would love to see them do well.”
The players’ decision to abandon their tour of India is expected to dominate the agenda at an International Cricket Council meeting on November 10.