Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 7th 2017 Contents A46 sports
guardian.co.tt Friday, April 7, 2017
Windies hunt victory and points
When you hear about World
Cup qualification, one thinks
about the Soca Warriors try-
ing to get into the marquee
FIFA event. However, today
World Cup qualification is
on the line for the West Indies
cricket team when they come
up against Pakistan in the first
of three Brighto Cup ODIs at
the Providence Stadium in
Guyana from 9am.
The West Indies are currently
languishing in ninth position in
the International Cricket Council
(ICC) ODI rankings and when the
end of September arrives, they
have to be in the top eight, or
face the humiliation of playing
Associate members with the hope
of getting into a tournament that
they have won twice and reached
the finals on another occasion.
West Indies captain Jason
Holder says that his team is
ready: "We look forward for this
tour, it's just a situation where we
need to get out and start the se-
ries well. It's a very short series."
When asked about his team he
responded: "It's a good squad."
Holder pointed out, adding that,
"there are a couple of changes
and it will be a good test. We just
need to play good cricket."
"The series will be crucial and
as I said it's very important that
we play good cricket. The T20
series is behind us, this is a new
format and we have some fresh
faces coming into the squad"
The pitch at Providence is ex-
pected to be much better than the
'turner' which was presented to
cricketers last season. The en-
tire square was dug up and relaid
because West Indies Cricket
Board (WICB) pitch consult-
ant Ken Crafton reported that
drainage around the area was a
problem. One is now expecting
a faster pitch with more bounce,
which should be welcomed by the
strokemakers from both teams.
If the pitch plays as before, the
West Indies would start at a
massive dis-advantage as the
Pakistanis are well equipped in
the spin-bowling department.
The regional players would be
very wary of the new kid on the
block Shadab Khan, who grabbed
the 'player of the series' award
in the just concluded T20 series,
which Pakistan won 3-1. He spun
a web around uncertain West In-
The West Indies have not beat-
en Pakistan in a bilateral series
in 26 years, and have lost nine of
the last 13 ODIs against the Asian
side in the Caribbean.
Overall, Holder, at age 25, is the
most experienced player with 52
matches, was quick to acknowl-
edge the Windies' status as un-
derdogs in the series but said it
could also work in their favour.
"Pakistan is ranked higher than
us and they've obviously beaten
us in the last series we played in
the UAE," Holder pointed out.
"They've started this tour well.
I believe we're probably the un-
derdogs right now. It's not a bad
tag to have, the expectation is
pretty much on Pakistan to beat
us and that's incentive for our
guys. We must go and show them
that we can beat Pakistan.
"They are just one step ahead
of us in the ICC rankings and I
don't think they are impossible
to beat. We've shown we can beat
them here in the T20 series so far,
we've played some pretty good
cricket in the T20 series but we
haven't seized crucial moments."
Once again, there is a palpable
lack of experience with Kieran
Powell --- in only his second series
since returning from a two-year
break from international cricket
--- the most experienced of all the
specialist batsmen with 31 ODIs.
Put under severe pressure in
the T20 series by 18-year-old
leg-spinner Shadab Khan, Holder
said it was imperative the Win-
dies batsmen did not repeat the
same mistakes. "I think it boils
down to each individual. We've
go to work out our game plans for
certain bowlers," he explained.
The WICB is taking no chanc-
es and has called up the former
Test bowler Rajindra Dhanraj to
assist the current spinners with
advice going into the clash. The
former T&T ace leg-spinner will
work with the slow bowlers for
this sector of the tour, as well as
the three Tests to follow.
The fans here have been show-
ing interest in the series and
there has been some activity at
the ticket booth. No where close
to what obtained during the hal-
cyon days of West Indies cricket
but significant given the current
trend. The biggest crowd is ex-
pected on Sunday according to
indications from the ticket out-
'Substantial damages' for Samuels as Lawson settles defamation case
KINGSTON, Jamaica ---
West Indies batsman Marlon
Samuels is set to receive "sub-
stantial damages" and a full
public apology after succeed-
ing in a defamation case against
former Australian fast bowler
The Jamaican's England-based
lawyer Suzette A. Thompson said
Lawson had erred in making of-
fensive comments in a radio pod-
cast, 'Big Sports Breakfast last year,
and added that her client was now
pleased with the outcome.
"These comments were pub-
lished and aired without proper
journalist research, nor was Sam-
uels contacted to give his views on
the damaging remarks about his
character," Thompson said.
"We are delighted that Lawson
and the Big Sports Breakfast radio
have now settled and are issuing
a full apology and agreed to pay
substantial damages to Marlon."
Speaking a day after Samuels
steered West Indies to the capture
of the Twenty20 World Cup in In-
dia last April, Lawson claimed the
player was associated with crimi-
nal activity in Jamaica and was "a
guy you don't muck around with
on or off the field."
Samuels then instructed his
lawyers to take legal action against
Lawson for "erroneous, malicious
and unjustifiable comments."
The 36-year-old Samuels, a vet-
eran of 71 Tests and 187 One-Day
Internationals, said it had been
important to defend his values.
"Through this case, my intention
was not only to defend my integ-
rity and image as an international
cricketer, but also the values I have
defended all my career," he said.
"I also wish to avoid any public
figure from making insulting or
false allegations against an ath-
lete using the media, without any
evidence or foundation and to go
Lawson's apology will be broad-
cast on air at an agreed time.
It is understood that Samuels
will donate a percentage of the
damages to the Marlon Samuels
Society for the Blind in Jamaica
along with other charities. (CMC) West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels.
Former Australian fast bowler Goeff
West Indies left-hander batsman Kieran Powell pauses during a recent
training session at the Guyana National Stadium. Photo courtesy WICB Media
West Indies ODI squad
Jason Holder (captain), Devendra
Bishoo, Jonathan Carter, Miguel
Cummins, Shannon Gabriel, Shai
Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis,
Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse,
Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell,
Pakistan ODI squad
Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Ak-
mal, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar
Azam, Shoaib Malik, Fakhar
Zaman, Asif Zakir, Sarfraz Ahmed
(capt & wk), Imad Wasim, Shad-
ab Khan, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz,
Mohammad Amir, Fahim Ashraf,
Junaid Khan, Mohammad Asghar
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