West Indies ready for Sri Lankan challenge

Published: Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 10:38 [IST]
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West Indies ready for Lankan challenge

On arriving for his side's tour of Sri Lanka, West Indian captain Darren Sammy said that his team was eager to restore its pride. Sammy was named captain last month after Chris Gayle declined a central contract and was consequently demoted. Brendon Nash was appointed vice-captain in place of Dwyane Bravo who also turned down a contract by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). However, both Gayle and Bravo have been retained to play the three tests against Sri Lanka.

"We want to win, to play well and bring the passion and pride back to the West Indies," Sammy said to reporters in Colombo. "We are a little bit inexperienced, young, but we have put in a good preparation work ahead of our coming here. All the players who are here are committed and in a way it is the legacy that West Indies cricket holds. We are going to bring back the passion and the pride and also perform for us to take the West Indies team up the ladder."

The squad named for the Sri Lankan tour includes several faces that weren't in the side for the series against South Africa at home earlier this year. Opener Adrian Barath, who made a great impact in his debut match by scoring a century in Brisbane last year, comes back into the side after injuring his knee in April this year. Carlton Baugh hasn't played a test since 2004, but he is in a race with Devon Thomas for the role of wicketkeeper. Meanwhile, Jamaican allrounder Andre Russell gets his first international call-up. Opener Devon Smith, who played his last test in May 2009 is also back in the side.

"The selectors have come up with the best team to represent the Caribbean side," Sammy said. "I am very confident in all the players I have here, likewise all the players are confident in making the team and being here and to give off their best for the West Indies."

The last test series the West Indies played in Sri Lanka was in 2005, which it lost 0-2. The two sides have played a dozen tests against each other, with Sri Lanka ahead by 6 wins to 3.

Kumar Sangakkara, coming out from the success of a maiden series win in Australia, cautioned against complacency. "We don't take any team lightly. We want to win the Test series. We expect nothing but the best from the West Indies and for us to match them."

The tour starts with a three-day warm-up game against Sri Lankan Board President's XI on November 10, followed by the first Test in Galle. After the trio of tests, the sides play five ODIs and complete the tour with a Twenty20 international.


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