West Indian notes … with Sobers inspiring the present lot

Sir Garfield gives full backing to young Windies squad

Sobers and Sathasivam greet each other –from Essaying Cricket by Roberts (2006, Colombo).

West Indies legend Sir Garfield Sobers joined theWest Indiesplayers at their camp at the 3Ws Oval on Friday. The greatest allrounder of all time was invited by Windies Head Coach Ottis Gibson and he accepted the invitation to discuss the game with the players and also to monitor the net session in the Garfield Sobers Indoor Centre.

Sir Garfield shared his ideas on the game and also urged the players to believe in themselves and always remain focused on the job. He also shared his thoughts on the changing face of the modern game and told the players they have his full backing as they prepare to facePakistanin the upcoming Digicel Series.

Team Manager Richie Richardson said it was a thrill to have Sir Garfield at the camp and said all the players were delighted to have the opportunity to interact with him. “It was tremendous to have a gentleman of the calibre of the great Sir Garfield Sobers to come and join us in our camp as we get ready for the Digicel Series. The Head Coach extended the invitation and Sir Garfield happily agreed to come and share some of his vast knowledge with our team,” said Richardson.

“His contribution really helped and the players were all happy to listen to him and absorb what he had to say. We have some of the game’s greatest cricketers of all time here in theCaribbeanand it is always great to have them sharing their knowledge with our present generation.”

Sir Garfield, 74, was a left-handed allrounder, who represented theWest Indiesfrom 1954 to 1974. He played 93 Test matches and made 8,032 runs and took 235 wickets. He topscore was a then world record 365 not out.

The Digicel Series bowls off at the Beausejour Stadium inSt Luciaon Thursday, April 21 with the Digicel T20 International.

Squad for Digicel T20 International: Darren Sammy (Captain), Christopher Barnwell, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Andre Fletcher, Danza Hyatt, Ashley Nurse, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons

Squad for 1st and 2nd Digicel ODIs: Darren Sammy (Captain), Dwayne Bravo (Vice Captain), Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Kirk Edwards, Anthony Martin, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Devon Smith, Devon Thomas

Team Management Unit: Ottis Gibson (Head Coach), Richie Richardson (Team Manager), David Williams (Assistant Coach), Desmond Haynes (Batting Consultant), C.J. Clark (Physiotherapist), Hector Martinez Charles (Strength & Conditioning Co-ordinator), Richard Berridge (Video & Statistical Analyst), Philip Spooner (Media Manager), Virgil Browne (Massage Therapist)


   “Energy, passion, maximum effort, results” says Captain Sammy

 West Indies skipper Darren Sammy is happy with his team’s performance in the Digicel T20 International on Thursday. The Windies new-look team played well from the start to beatPakistan by seven runs before a colourful and vocal crowd at the Beausejour Cricket Grounds. For Sammy it was a special and memorable occasion as he was leading the side for the first time on home soil and he was also playing in front his countrymen. TheWest Indies used five debutants in the first ever T20 International between the two nations. They batted first and posted 151. The visitors were then restricted to 143-9 off their 20 overs.

“This is a really good way to start at home. We planned well and the players went out and executed. Things went well and I’m happy for the team. We have a new-look team and we saw the players showing the energy and passion we asked for. They put in the maximum effort and we got the result,” Sammy said.

“We have to continue to play as a team. We created some great opportunities and we took them. The batsmen gave us a good total to bowl at and the bowlers followed up well. The fielding was outstanding and you could see the total commitment in the outfield. We’re happy with the positive start.”

 TheWest Indieswill now look ahead to the five-match Digicel One-Day International Series which bowls off on Saturday at the same venue. First ball is 9.30 am (8.30 am Jamaica Time). The Windies will have a training session on Friday morning in preparation for the match. “The ODIs will be a different kind of challenge.Pakistanare a good one-day team and are confident following their good showing at the World Cup inAsia. We have to continue playing as a team and showing the confidence and self belief we demonstrated out there today. We have to keep winning the situations within the game and benefit from the opportunities we create,” Sammy said.

“I know we have players that can do the job. Today we saw how Simmons batted on his return to the team. We saw how well Bishoo bowled and won it for us. At the end there, Russell bowled an excellent last over. I looked into his eyes and saw he could do it. I could see he would do the job for us.”


Darren Bravo wants to score faster

West Indiesmiddle-order batsman Darren Bravo played well for a half-century in Saturday’s 1st Digicel One Day International but admitted he could have scored faster.Bravo said he will be going back to the drawing board and it is his aim to get better in the upcoming four Digicel One Dayers and two Digicel Tests. The left-hander got 67 off 109 balls, with a four and a six off back-to-back deliveries, as the Windies reached 221 for 7 off their 50 overs.Pakistanreplied with 222 for 2 off 41.3 overs to comprehensively win by eight wickets and take a 1-0 lead.

“I wasn’t as fluent as I would have liked. There was a lot of spin and I wasn’t able to rotate the strike the way I’m accustomed. I have to fix that. I have to put that right. I have to find a way to turn over the strike in the middle overs and keep the innings going,” he said. “Earlier this year inSri Lankawe faced a lot of spin as well and I was able to keep the scoreboard ticking. I will go back into the nets and do some more work and fix it. ThePakistanspinners bowled some good balls, but to be a great player you have to find a way to score off the good balls not just the bad balls. There is a lot of cricket to play still – we have four more ODIs and two Tests and I have many opportunities to perform for the team and the people of theWest Indies.”

Bravo said he is still confident that he will do well and the Windies will rebound from Saturday’s defeat. “I’m in a confident mood. I’m in a positive frame of mind. I will back myself to do the job for the team in the upcoming matches. As a group we believe we can do well against the Pakistanis and take the Series. We are putting in the work and we’re hungry for success.”


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