W.I. look to maintain winning streak

By Ezra Stuart
Guyana Chronicle
April 16, 2000

ST GEORGE'S, Grenada, (CAN)A - West Indies, despite already qualifying for the finals, won't be taking things easy against Pakistan in their last preliminary match of the 2000 Cable and Wireless triangular cricket series at the Queen's Park Stadium here today.

Assistant coach Jeffrey Dujon told CANA during a training session at the St George's University that it is important for the West Indies to maintain their winning streak.

"We would want to win every game that we play, especially now, it is very important that we go out there and we play to win every game," Dujon said.

"I don't think there would be any sort of attitude that we qualify now and we can ease off a little bit. These guys are all pumped up now and they are very confident and they want to win, and we are not going to discourage that," added Dujon.

Under new captain Jimmy Adams, West Indies have won five successive matches, starting with the two-Test series against Zimbabwe and followed by back-to-back one-day wins against the same opponents in Jamaica.

The West Indies also defeated Pakistan by 96 runs in the fourth one-day international in St Vincent, snapping an eight-game losing streak to the Pakistanis.

Dujon lauded the players for following the game-plan in this match. "We made a plan for that game and to the players' credit, they followed it to the letter and we got on top of Pakistan and never really let them go," Dujon said.

Looking ahead to today's game, Dujon said: "We plan to approach it with the same positive attitude, the same aggressive attitude and the same methodical way that we've approached everything so far."

"It is really up to Pakistan how well they can manage to play because our intention is to stop them from playing well," added Dujon.

The West Indies have rested their overworked ageing fast bowler Curtly Ambrose for the game while at least four other players are carrying niggling injuries which team sports therapist Ronald Rogers said won't stop them from playing.

"Right now, we have no major concerns. As you know, once you are playing cricket, there will always be minor niggles," Rogers said.

Rogers revealed that the Achilles tendon of fast bowler Reon King is slightly inflamed while Ricardo Powell has a minor groin and thigh strain which he sustained in the last game.

In addition, pacer Franklyn Rose, who rocked Pakistan with career-best one-day figures of five for 23 at Arnos Vale, and Adams are nursing leg injuries.

Adams has a damaged right knee and Rogers said it is monitored and treated every time he finishes bowling.

"His treatment is preventative. It is the same injury that was sustained in Sharjah and simply we continue to strengthen and every time he is finished playing, we just ice it down and try to prevent it from getting worse," Rogers disclosed.

"We have Rosie (Rose) who has a little pain by the side of his knee but basically, it is nothing that will keep anybody out of the game or that we have to be overly concerned about," Rogers said.

"So thankfully in between games, there is just sufficient rest for us to treat and get people back out on the field," noted Rogers.

Concerning Ambrose, who is to return for the Barbados first game of the three-match finals, Rogers said his knee injury on his left side which he lands on in his delivery stride is a result of "wear and tear" over the years.

"When he finishes bowling what we had in the past was a bit of puffing. We have been managing it and it is down to a minimal. The aim is to eliminate it totally.

"We have been doing some work with it and as with Jimmy, after every game and even after practice sessions, we just get some ice going, get him some anti-inflammatory medication and it's been really controlled so far," Rogers said.

West Indies are expected to replace Ambrose with Jamaican all-rounder Laurie Williams while Leeward Islands' middle-order batsman Sylvester Joseph may make his one-day debut and off-spinner Nehemiah Perry selected for his first game of the series.