Windies ready to battle

CRICINFO – The West Indies team is promising to be tough and competitive when they face England in the 1st Digicel Test Match at Sabina Park.

This is according to Head Coach John Dyson as the team prepared for their training session on Monday afternoon.

‘The team can take a lot out of the New Zealand series which we played late last year and earlier this year. We played hard and we had a very good team spirit. We are really looking forward to this series against England,’ Dyson said. ‘There are no easy teams around in world cricket. All series are going to be hard, but as always if our guys play as well as I know we can, they can come out of the series looking pretty good.

‘I believe the series will be very competitive.’

The Head Coach added: ‘We’re not long after the New Zealand series so I expect the team spirit to be as good as it was when we there. We are at home, in our own territory. We know the conditions very well and we’re happy to play again in the sunshine and we are far happier with the weather here.’

The West Indies had their second training session yesterday morning and Dyson noted that all the players were ready for the battle at hand.

The first Digicel Test bowls off this morning at 10 am (11 am Eastern Caribbean Time) at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.

‘Right now it’s a matter of putting the final preparations in place for the first Test match. We are looking for major contributions from all the players,’ Dyson said.

‘I expect a good, hard series and I expect us to do very well.’

SQUAD: Chris Gayle (Captain), Lionel Baker, Sulieman Benn, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Fidel Edwards, Amit Jaggernauth, Xavier Marshall, Brendan Nash, Daren Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Dale Richards, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Devon Smith, Jerome Taylor

STAFF: Omar Khan (Team Manager), John Dyson (Head Coach), David Williams (Assistant Coach), C.J. Clark (Physio), Steve Folkes (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Richard Berridge (Analyst), Philip Spooner (Media Officer), Virgil Browne (Massage Therapist)

The full tour itinerary for England in the West Indies for the Digicel Series 2009 is as follows:

February 4-8: 1st Digicel Test at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica

February 13-17: 2nd Digicel Test at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua

February 21-22: England vs Barbados Cricket Association’s President’s XI
At Windward Cricket Club, St Philip, Barbados

February 26 to March 2: 3rd Digicel Test at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados

March 6-10: 4th Digicel Test at Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

March 14: England vs West Indies Players Association XI
(Venue to be determined)

March 15: Digicel T20 International at Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

March 20: 1st Digicel One-Day International at National Stadium, Providence, Guyana

March 22: 2nd Digicel One-Day International at National Stadium, Providence, Guyana

March 27: 3rd Digicel One-Day International at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados

March 29: 4th Digicel One-Day International at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados

April 3: 5th Digicel One-Day International at Beausejour Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia

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