Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 14th 2015 Contents A54
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, October 14, 2015
The West Indies go into the
first Test of the Sobers/Tissera
series today at Galle, Sri Lanka,
under a cloud as they are with-
out head coach Phil Simmons
and had a less than impressive
preparation match against a Sri
Lankan President s XI.
Despite this, new captain
Jason Holder is still upbeat.
He is the youngest ever Test
captain and in charge of a strug-
gling unit but says the focus
would be on beating Sri Lanka
and moulding West Indies into
a competitive side.
"It is a special day for me ...
taking the field for the first time
as captain but for me it is bigger
than me at this point in time,"
Holder told reporters. "There is
a new dimension to our team in
terms of a young group so I
think it is important for us to
get into this Sri Lankan team as
early as possible. They re in a
sense finding their way as well
and it is just important that we
start well, put some early pres-
sure on them and make early
inroads into their side."
He added: "The hardest thing
so far was adapting to the heat
but I think we ve done that pret-
ty nicely. Obviously in the
Caribbean it is very hot at certain
times of the year and we ve tried
to embrace it and enjoy it as
much as possible."
Holder added that his team
has worked very hard and made
the most of their time available
to prepare for the Test. "We have
controlled what we could con-
trol. There has been rain a bit
but we are all professionals, we
have our focus and our minds
are tuned into the game.
"We have had to battle the
heat but I think we have gotten
over that quickly. The batting
needs to be looked at, as certain
batsmen did not spend enough
time in the middle during the
warm-up game. However, in
speaking to them over the last
few days they understand what
they need to do and I have full
confidence in our batsmen."
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan cap-
tain Angelo Mathews says that
the West Indies are a dangerous
side despite the absence of sen-
ior players. "They remain a dan-
gerous side despite the absence
of (Chris) Gayle, Dwayne Bravo
and (Keiron) Pollard. They have
the personnel in there to destroy
any team, so we have to be very
careful and we cannot afford to
take our foot off the gas, if we
are to defeat the West Indies.
They remain a dangerous side
and we are well aware of this
Sri Lanka will be looking to
the experienced Dinesh Chandi-
mal to hold the innings together.
"Chandimal will not keep wick-
ets, we need him up the order
and we are looking forward to
good things from him."
Apart from his promotion, the
only change likely from the Sri
Lankans is the uncapped Malin-
da Siriwardene coming in at the
number six position. Siriwardene
made a century playing for the
Sri Lankan Cricket Board Pres-
ident s XI against the West
Indies on the weekend.
The pitch will offer something
for everyone says curator Chana-
ka Sampath. He did warn how-
dry side, which means that the
West Indies may want to avoid
batting last on this result-ori-
The West Indies team
although far from the one that
dominated the world in the
eighties and nineties, still has
appeal with many of the people
here looking to find their way
to the ground to see the
The fans have been looking
ahead with great expectation as
both teams are in a state of
rebuilding. While television rev-
enues for the this series is six
times lower than what Sri
Lankan Cricket (SLC) got for the
recent Indian visit, the fact that
the West Indies are here is
enough for the people to come
This venue rated one of the
most picturesque in the world
was totally destroyed by the
2004 tsunami and remains the
most colourful of Sri Lankan
grounds. The atmosphere is like-
ly to be electric despite the fact
that it is white clothes cricket,
as people have been talking
about making this match a
cricket celebration for the seaside
However, rain is expected to
spoil the party at the Esplanade,
as in October, the northeast
monsoon begins to creep in from
the Bay of Bengal. The country s
water level is already high, as
was evidenced by the lagoons
from the drive down to Galle
The ICC board has approved an increase
in funding available to its Associate and
Affiliate Members from $125m in the pre-
vious cycle to $208m for the period 2016-
2023. Prize money for the top-ranked Test
sides and for ICC events has also gone up
The increased funding was in line with
the ICC s new strategy, which aims to assist
the development of more competitive teams
in international cricket, an ICC release stated.
The annual funding pool for the Associates
and Affiliates will go up from $20m in 2015
to $26m in 2016.
The board has allocated $65m as prize
money for the top-ranked Test sides and
for men s and women s ICC events for 2016-
2023, representing a 41 per cent increase
compared to the amount paid in the previous
The number-one ranked Test team on
the cut-off date of April 1 will henceforth
receive $1 m, which is double the existing
The board also "recognised the improved
standard and professionalism in women s
cricket" by approving a five-fold increase
in the prize money for the six ICC women s
events during 2016-2023. The prize money
now stands at $4.4m, including $1m for the
Women s World Cup 2017.
The eight-team Women s World Cup will
be played on a round-robin basis, with the
top four sides progressing to the semifinals.
The change in the format means there will
be a total of 31 matches (compared to 25 in
2013), with each side guaranteed a minimum
of seven games during the tournament.
There will also be a second edition of the
Women s Championship post 2017. The ICC
noted that the tournament has "significantly
enhanced the standard of women s cricket"
with each side guaranteed a minimum of
21 ODIs over a two-year period.
To encourage attacking play in women s
ODIs, all changes that were introduced to
the men s playing conditions in June 2015
except two will also apply. The batting Pow-
erPlay will remain in women s ODIs, and
there will still only be four fielders outside
the circle between overs 41-50. These
amendments will come into effect from this
week s series between West Indies and Pak-
istan. © ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Eldine Baptiste will make his debut today as
head coach of the West Indies, when they go
against Sri Lanka in the opening Test of the
Sobers/Tissera series at the Galle International
Cricket Stadium in Sri Lanka.
Baptiste who is also a selector for the Caribbean
side was thrust into the role after the West Indies
Cricket Board (WICB) suspended coach Phil Sim-
mons after his public outburst that outside inter-
ference was at play in the continued axing of
Dwayne Bravo and Keiron Pollard.
Simmons conducted a 10-day camp in Barbados
for the team ahead of the Sri Lankan series and
received news of his suspension whilst in England,
finalising plans for the tour. He is currently awaiting
a meeting with the WICB appointed Human
Resources committee to answer his outburst.
Team captain Jason Holder said that the former
Leewards all rounder has fitted in nicely.
"He has fitted in nicely with this team and has
pretty much filled in with what Phil started in
terms of preparations for this series. The coach
has done a very good job so far and the guys have
reacted reasonably well and hopefully he can lead
us to victory in this series."
Baptiste will be in charge for the two Test
matches, the three one day internationals and
also the two T20s that will precede the Tests.
Holder continued: "We are a young team and the
guys have really worked hard leading up to the
matches. They are all keen to do well and has
been working well with the coaches and looking
to improve their game. We have a team here that
is capable of doing well and we will definitely
come out hard against the home team as the guys
will all want to make their mark and there is no
better time than now." (VM)
Dimitri Payet claims he is being unfairly
ignored for selection by France manager Didier
Payet has been in impressive form for West
Ham since making his £10.7m switch from Mar-
seille this summer but has not featured for the
French national side since June.
The former Marseille midfielder, who has scored
four goals in eight league appearances for the
Hammers this season, says he deserves a call-up
based on his current Premier League form.
"I feel as if it is an injustice," Payet told French
newspaper L Equipe.
best form of my career, even if I can still get better.
So, for me, it is unjust not to be in the France
"Whose fault is it? A bit of mine because I am
not doing what they want of me but there is
maybe something else. What? I don t know. I
hear rumours that I am frowned upon. You have
"Perhaps it is my fault because I have not done
what is expected of me, but maybe there is more
to it. He [Deschamps] has the choice to make, he
thinks about the group as a whole.
"That is what perhaps I reproach myself with
today. I hear the sounds that say I wouldn t look
good in the team. Good. You have to take me as
West Ham have made a strong start to their
Premier League campaign and currently sit in
sixth place, following impressive away victories
at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.
Payet hits out
ICC approves more $$ in new cycle
Windies go after young Lankans
West Indies batsman Shai Hope plays a sweep during the West Indies training session at the Galle
International Cricket Stadium yesterday. WICB MEDIA PHOTO
West Indies: Jason Holder
(capt), Kraigg Brathwaite (vice-
capt), Rajendra Chandrika,
Darren Bravo, Jermaine
Blackwood, Marlon Samuels,
Shane Dowrich, Denesh Ramdin,
Carlos Brathwaite, Devendra
Bishoo, Shai Hope, Shannon
Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Jerome
Taylor and Jomel Warrican.
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews
(capt), Lahiru Thirimanne (vice-
capt), Kaushal Silva, Dimuth
Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal,
Perera, Milinda Siriwardana,
Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis,
Rangana Herath, Dilruwan
Perera, Tharindu Kaushal,
Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan
Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal,
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