The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 Qualifier is set to begin from June 18 in Zimbabwe.
The ten participating teams – Zimbabwe, the West Indies, the Netherlands, Nepal, the United States, Sri Lanka, Ireland Scotland, Oman, the United Arab Emirates – will contest for two places at the ODI World Cup. West Indies will enter the Qualifier high on confidence, having won both their warm-up matches ahead of the tournament.
West Indies left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein believes now ready to take on the next challenge, which is the 50-over World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe, starting tomorrow.
Hosein, speaking to the media said he is taking things one step at a time and the next step is the qualifiers.
He said he is still feeling the pain of their losses in the T20 World Cup qualifiers last year and is focused on doing his part to ensure they make amends this time around.
“I am fit and ready and in shape and in the best frame of mind to take on those matches. Once I am in the right frame of mind and I’m ready, everything else will take care of itself on the field,” said Hosein.
West Indies, who were drawn in Group A, will open the tournament against the United States tomorrow. The Caribbean side will also face Nepal (June 22), Zimbabwe (June 24), and the Netherlands (June 26) in the group stage.
Asked about his IPL stint, Hosein said despite playing only one match, he was still able to make full use of the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the top players and coaches in the game.
“It was a great experience. I am grateful for the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the best players around and to even learn from the coaches and some of the legends that you come across in the IPL,” said Hosein.
Asked if he was disappointed not getting more matches, Hosein explained: “For me it is just about grasping the opportunity with both hands even if it wasn’t on the playing field. Having that opportunity to train with the best can help you to improve your game so that was definitely a plus for me as well.”
The 30-year-old continued, “I think I learned a lot from picking the batsmen and bowlers’ brains and even from the great man, Brian, as well. I think gaining that knowledge and advice is quite important because you don’t want to be in a situation where you are not playing but you’ve learnt nothing.”
He added: “I think sometimes you can learn more when you sit back and watch than when you are actually in the match itself. So for me it was just about learning from the outside as much as possible and I think once you put yourself in that sort of frame of mind, you are always better equipped so when you do get yourself in that situation, you may have better advice to give yourself or your peers to come out of a tough situation.
“So, it is always good to sit back and analyze rather than you just being there and looking at it from a negative perspective and sulking, because you are not playing. With that negative attitude, at the end of the day you didn’t play and you’ve learned nothing, so that’s two losses.
“Whereas you can say okay I didn’t play much so that is a loss in opportunity but also gained knowledge so now I’m better equipped to handle situations when I go to play my next match,” Hosein concluded.