Coach Williams happy with team spirit
 

Bridgetown, Barbados ­— Heavy rain on Thursday morning could not dampen the spirits of the members of the West Indies A Team as they had a productive three-hour training session at Kensington Oval.

The nets were waterlogged due to overnight and early morning showers but the players used the time to do extended fielding and training drills on the Kensington Oval outfield, as they prepare for the start of the Digicel Series against India A. First ball in the first Digicel four-day ‘Test” on Saturday is 10 am (9 am Jamaica Time).

Assistant Coach Stuart Williams said he was extremely pleased with the positive approach and the level of commitment demonstrated by the players. He said there is ”good camaraderie and team spirit” among the players as everyone looked ahead to the series – which features three four-day matches, two Twenty20s and three 50-over matches.

“We came this morning and the nets were not available due to the rain. They (players) expected to hit balls in the nets and run in and bowl, but sometimes you don’t always get what you want. We decided to get in some extra work on other disciplines — doing ground fielding, slip fielding, high catching and doing fitness drills. The players really enjoyed the session and that was great to see. We put in a great deal of work today,” Williams said.

“We have a great bunch of players and it is clear we have a very good team spirit. We have formed a good unit and everyone is familiar with each other. The team has in quite a few players who were part of the Sagicor High Performance Centre, as well as others who have played together for the West Indies A Team before. The players get on well with each other and there is cohesion and camaraderie.

Williams added: “The Indians have brought a team with some experienced players (at the international level) so this series will be a good test for us. It is always good to compete against good, strong opposition and push yourself to the limit. Our players recognise that this will be a ‘big’ series for them as they look to show continued development and progress.”

Williams, a former West Indies opener and Leeward Islands captain, played 31 Tests and 57 One-Dayers between 1994 and 2002. He has been involved in the development of young sportsmen and sportswomen in St Kitts and Nevis since his retirement from the game. He has been Assistant Coach of West Indies A Team and West Indies Under-19s for the last two seasons.

The 42-year-old noted that the upcoming matches will provide a chance for several players to impress the West Indies selectors as they look to regain selection in the West Indies senior team. He made mention of leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, the ICC Emerging Player of the Year; teenaged opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite, who played against Australia in the three-match Digicel Test series last month; and versatile opener Lendl Simmons, who is making a return after an injury earlier this year.

“The A Team serves several purposes, and sometimes players lose form, and this series will be a chance for players like Bishoo and Brathwaite to regain their form and look to get back into the senior side. They are both young, talented players and they have a lot to offer West Indies cricket,” Williams said.

“In the case of Simmons, he had an injury and he will want to use this series to prove his fitness and readiness to return. He was excellent for West Indies in limited-overs cricket last year and he will want to get back in the groove and re-start his international career.”

The West Indies will have another training session on Friday morning at Kensington Oval at 9:30 am.

SQUADS

West Indies A: Veerasammy Permaul (Captain), Jason Holder (Vice Captain), Devendra Bishoo, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Kyle Corbin, Delorn Johnson, Leon Johnson, Kevin McClean, Donovan Pagon, Lendl Simmons, Devon Thomas (Wicket-keeper)

Team Management: Hendy Springer (Head Coach), Colin Borde (Team Manager), Stuart Williams (Assistant Coach), Jacqui King-Mowatt (Physiotherapist), Ronald Rogers (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Dexter Augustus (Video and Statistical Analyst)

India A: Cheteshwar Pujara (Captain), Wriddhiman Saha (Vice Captain/Wicket-keeper), Abhinav Mukund, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Jalaj Saxena, Parviner Awana, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Robin Bisht, Akshay Darekar, Sami Ahmed

SERIES SCHEDULE

Digicel “Test” Series

First Digicel ‘Test’: June 2-5

Kensington Oval, Barbados

Standing Umpires: Gregory Brathwaite and Joel Wilson

Standby Umpire: Jonathan Blades

Match Referee: Mervyn Jones

Second Digicel ‘Test’: June 9-12

Arnos Vale Cricket Ground, St Vincent

Standing Umpires: Gregory Brathwaite and Joel Wilson

Standby Umpire: Goaland Greaves

Match Referee: Selwyn Allen

Third Digicel ‘Test’: June 16-19

Beausejour Cricket Ground, St Lucia

Standing Umpires: Peter Nero and Nigel Duguid

Standby Umpire: Francis Maurice

Match Referee: Patrick Felix

Digicel Twenty20 Series

First Digicel T20: June 23

Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad

Standing Umpires: Peter Nero and Joel Wilson

Standby Umpire: Anthony Sanowar

Match Referee: Hayden Bruce

Second Digicel T20: June 24

Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad

Standing Umpires: Peter Nero and Joel Wilson

Standby Umpire: Danesh Ramdhanie

Match Referee: Hayden Bruce

Digicel One-Day Series

First Digicel One-Day: June 27

Queen’s Park Stadium, Grenada

Standing Umpires: Lennox Abraham and Goaland Greaves

Standby Umpire: Vincent Bullen

Match Referee: Selwyn Allen

Second Digicel One-Day: June 29

Queen’s Park Stadium, Grenada

Standing Umpires: Lennox Abraham and Vincent Bullen

Standby Umpire: Goaland Greaves

Match Referee: Selwyn Allen

Third Digicel One-Day: July 1

Queen’s Park Stadium, Grenada

Standing Umpires: Vincent Bullen and Goaland Greaves

Standby Umpire: Lennox Abraham

Match Referee: Selwyn Allen

Date: 
Thu, 05/31/2012 - 17:24