Joel Garner believes West Indies can win the Cricket World Cup (Picture: Getty)Joel Garner is confident West Indies can end 40 years of hurt by reclaiming the World Cup title.
Jason Holder’s side have endured a mixed start to the 2019 World Cup, winning there opening match before losing to Australia and seeing their fixture with South Africa abandoned.
They remain in the mix to reach the knockout stages of the tournament, however, and face host nation England in Southampton on Friday.
Garner, who played a starring role in West Indies’ World Cup triumph in 1979, told Metro.co.uk: ‘If we play the kind of cricket that we are expected to play – which is consistent cricket – we will get to the final.
Jason Holder’s side have endured a mixed start to the tournament (Picture: Getty)‘And then there’s nothing stopping us from winning the final. But you cannot depend on one or two players to get you there.
‘I’m a West Indian so of course I want to see them win. But it could be any of the top teams. When it gets to the semi-finals, that’s when the dogfight will really begin.’
On the Windies’ encounter with hosts and pre-tournament favourites England on Friday, Garner added: ‘I’m not even going to predict that one!
‘I just hope we get 100 overs in and see some good cricket. This is the biggest tournament and I would not want to put my money on anybody because it doesn’t make sense in one-day cricket.
Windies won the first two World Cups in the 1970s (Picture: Getty)‘In a 50-over game you can make two mistakes and lose the game. In a Test match you’ve got five days where you can recover. In one-day cricket you don’t get second chances.’
A brilliant bowler with an average of around 20 in both Test and one-day cricket, Garner’s five for 39 in the 1979 World Cup final remains the best-ever performance in a final.
By the time he hung up his boots, the Barbadian legend had claimed more than 400 wickets for West Indies, emerging as a key player in one of the greatest teams ever assembled.
England’s Jofra Archer, born in Barbados, is considered one of the best among the current crop of fast bowlers and Garner is not surprised by his rise.
Barbados-born Jofra Archer is now spearheading England’s attack (Picture: Getty)‘He played local cricket in Barbados,’ Garner said. ‘I watched him at youth level, he took his school team up to the first division.
‘He was a very good cricketer back then. It is unfortunate that some people made the decisions that they made but I’m not surprised [by his rise].’
The legendary Clive Lloyd lifted the World Cup 40 years ago and Garner hopes to see another West Indian on top of the world at Lord’s after the 2019 final.
‘Jason Holder has worked hard and he’s turning out to be a good leader,’ Garner said. ‘I’d be delighted to see him lift the trophy because it’s been a long time since we won the World Cup.’