West Indies are in threat of missing out on qualification for the 2023 WC |Courtesy-ICC
West Indies lost to Zimbabwe by 35 runs
West Indies are in major danger of missing out of the World Cup
Two teams will qualify for the marquee event
The 2023 Cricket World Cup faces a doomsday scenario of not featuring two-time champions West Indies after the Shai Hope-led team suffered a huge upset in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup qualifiers to host Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday (June 24).
Zimbabwe beat West Indies in front of their home fans by 35 runs to not just open up their chances of taking the flight to India later this year but also put a major doubt on West Indies’ prospects. The victory of the host nation has put them in pole position to qualify for the Super Six stages as the group winners. The win also confirmed their qualification for the second round.
How can the West Indies still qualify?
The first task at the hands of the West Indies is to win their final group stage against the Netherlands. While they are likely to qualify without winning too, if they get through as the third-placed team in the group, it will take a miracle for them to reach the final and qualify for the main tournament.
It is also worth remembering that group stage points are carried forward into the Super 4 against teams from the same group who have qualified. Hence, Zimbabwe will take four, but the West Indies will only take two even if they win their last game, and Zimbabwe faces a shock loss to the United States of America (USA).
From the other group, it looks more than likely that Sri Lanka will also carry the full four points unless there is a big shock over the next few days.
This means that the West Indies will need to win each of their three games in the Super Six and also hope that at least one of Zimbabwe or Sri Lanka loses at least two games, or if the 1975 and 1979 champions win both games, they can also get a huge Net Run Rate (NRR) boost.
For all practical purposes, the West Indies’ destiny is no longer in their own hands.