West Indies, the first to win the cricket ODI World Cup, will be absent from the 2023 edition in India after they failed to qualify for the October-November tournament.
The writing was always on the wall given the Windies’ continued decline in the sport they dominated in the seventies and eighties. On Saturday, the worst fears of cricket lovers came true after the men from the Caribbean lost to Scotland by seven wickets in the Super Six stage of the World Cup Qualifiers in Harare.
West Indies had to play the Qualifiers after finishing ninth in the ODI Super League as only the top-eight teams gain direct entry to the ten-side tournament.
This will be the first time that the 50-over championship will be held without the West Indies, champions of the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979, and runners-up in 1983.
They only just managed to make it to the last edition in England, via the Qualifiers, sneaking into the final at the expense of Scotland in a rain-hit game.
Scotland, who beat the Windies in last year’s T20 World Cup, repeated the feat with Brandon McMullen starring with both bat and ball.
The all-rounder claimed three for 32 before scoring 69 in their successful chase of 182 as Scotland got home with 6.3 overs to spare, Matthew Cross hitting the winning runs to finish unbeaten on 74.
West Indies, led by Shai Hope, slipped to 30 for four and it soon became 81 for six in the 21st over. Later, a 77-run stand between Jason Holder (45) and Romario Shepherd (36) gave them some respectability.
West Indies have no points from their three games in the Super Six stage and cannot overhaul Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, who have six points each from their three fixtures.
Scotland’s win moves them to four points and they remain in contention with fixtures against Zimbabwe and the Netherlands to come.
West Indies were grouped with Zimbabwe, the Netherlands, USA and Nepal in Group A. They lost to Zimbabwe and the Netherlands, which meant that while they qualified for the Super Six, they took zero points into that round.
Brief scores: WI 181 in 43.5 (Jason Holder 45, Romario Shepherd 36; Brandon McMullen 3/32). Scotland 185/3 in 43.3 (Matthew Cross 74 n.o., Brandon McMullen 69). Scotland won by 7 wickets.