LONDON: The declining fortunes of West Indies cricket hit a new low yesterday when the Caribbean team failed to qualify for the 2017 Champions Trophy in England. Restricted to the world’s top eight-ranked sides, the West Indies missed out on the lucrative event after slumping to ninth place yesterday’s cut-off date.
Their failure to qualify marks the first time the West Indies will be missing from any of cricket’s three big limited-overs events-the 50-overs World Cup, the Champions Trophy and the Twenty20 World Cup. West Indies are one of just three teams to have captured all three titles, winning the 50-over World Cup in 1975 and 1979, the Champions Trophy in 2004 and the Twenty20 World Cup in 2012, but have fallen on hard times. Once the most dominant force in world cricket, West Indies have struggled in recent years, plagued by chaotic mismanagement and rows over player contracts.
Last year, West Indies abandoned their planned tour of India and just two days ago, they suspended coach Phil Simmons after he criticised the selection policy for next month’s tour to Sri Lanka. Their spot in the 2017 Champions Trophy was effectively taken by Bangladesh, whose last appearance at the tournament was in 2006, although they finished seventh in the rankings, just ahead of Pakistan.
Australia, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan also qualified, along with the host-nation England, who were automatically granted a place. The 2017 Champions Trophy will take place from June 1-18, with the eight qualified teams separated into two pools of four, and the top two from each group advancing to the knock-out phase. — Reuters