Windies return to international cricket in Australia

Published: Tuesday, January 4, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Melbourne:The West Indies emerge from a three-month layoff after their Champions Trophy heroics in their first Australian tour hit-out here.

The West Indies have not played international cricket since their shock ICC Champions Trophy win in England on September 25.

Brian Lara's team open their Australian tour with a day-nighter against Victoria at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

The tourists will have two more One-dayers against Australia 'A' this weekend in Hobart before their opening triangular series match on January 14 against Australia at the MCG.

Champions Trophy hero Ian Bradshaw said the West Indies had learnt some valuable lessons from their surprise triumph last September.

"In any cricketer's life, three months away from playing a competitive game is a long time, a lot can happen," Bradshaw said Tuesday.

"We're just really looking forward to playing cricket. We know we have to take the first three practice games very seriously and get ourselves together, so that when we meet Australia at the MCG next week, we're ready."

Bradshaw was a hero of the Champions Trophy final win over England with two wickets and an unbeaten 34.

He and fellow Barbadian Courtney Browne put on 71 for the ninth wicket to win the game.

Bradshaw, 30, said that unexpected success had instilled a strong team spirit.

"What has happened is the guys have grown in confidence, we always knew we had talent within the team," he said.

"It was just a matter of us working together as a team, building that cohesiveness as a unit.

"That came out in the Champions Trophy, where we really worked hard together, we believed in our ability and came out successful."

West Indies (from): Brian Lara (capt), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Wavell Hinds, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Ryan Hinds, Courtney Browne, Ian Bradshaw, Pedro Collins, Mervyn Dillon, Reon King, Xavier Marshall.

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