SYDNEY- Cricket World Cup chief executive John Harnden said Tuesday he was confident the West Indies would play in next year’s tournament, despite their shock withdrawal from a tour of India.
The West Indies cut short their India tour this month over an internal pay dispute, despite a fifth and final one-day international, a Twenty20 match and three Tests still to be played.
The situation has raised doubts as to whether the Caribbean side will be able to fulfil its upcoming international engagements, including a tour of South Africa followed by the World Cup.
Harnden said he was confident the issues would be resolved and the West Indies would play in the World Cup being jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand from mid-February.
“We see that everyone’s very focused on resolving the situation as quickly as possible,” Harnden said.
“We’ve got 108 days until the World Cup and from our point of view I’ve no doubt the West Indies will be here and entertaining the crowd as only they know how.”
The World Cup 2015 will begin on February 14, with New Zealand taking on Sri Lanka in Christchurch and England facing Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Former Australian paceman Glenn McGrath said the home side could win its fifth one-day World Cup trophy given the current form of bowler Mitchell Johnson, despite this week’s loss to Pakistan in the first Test in Dubai.
Johnson delayed Pakistan’s win by top-scoring for Australia in the second innings with 61, and also took three wickets.
“We’ve been playing some pretty good cricket of late and we’re a tough team to beat at home in our home conditions,” McGrath said.
“If you look at the T20s and three one-dayers we won them so it has only been that last Test. To me the true indicator of where the Australian team is, is this next Test, whether they learnt a lot from that first game.”