Windies concerned over lack of match practice

Guyana Chronicle
May 11, 2007

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TAUNTON, England (CMC) – West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan has expressed concern over his side’s lack of preparation ahead of the opening Test against England at Lord’s Thursday.

West Indies play Somerset in a three-day match at Taunton starting tomorrow and the fixture is the only one before the Test series begins.

“It’s a bit of a concern. Since the World Cup we have played games back home,” Sarwan told reporters.

“Some of the guys have had club games but leading into the first Test match here you would want some sort of practice because the conditions are totally different to what we have back home.

“Nevertheless we are a professional group and we have to adapt to whatever situation is given to us.”

West Indies arrived in England Wednesday to begin a long summer tour that includes four Tests and three One-One Day Internationals.

It comes after a wretched World Cup campaign where the team finished sixth and managed to win just one Super Eight, second round match.

Sarwan, appointed captain following Brian Lara’s sudden retirement following the World Cup, said there was a great mood in the camp and noted players were looking forward to the campaign.

“Everyone seems to be in good spirits. Since we were in Barbados we had a couple of meetings before we actually came here to England and everyone seemed to be in good spirits and they have said that they are looking forward to this series,” the 26-year-old Guyanese said.

“Obviously we are going to miss Brian (Lara) there is no doubt about that but I think it’s a group of young guys who are very excited and they are looking forward to this.”

Sarwan stressed he would not be trying to fill the void left by Lara but rather carve out his own niche with the support of the team.

“I don’t think you can ever fill his shoes, as a batsman or a captain. It’s going to be difficult because of what he has achieved but you have to do what you are capable of and enjoy it as much as you can,” Sarwan noted.

“The team support is going to be very important for me and obviously the support of the staff and the administrators so I am looking forward to that.”