By Rawle Toney
The West Indies and the England cricket teams arrived yesterday for the opening matches of the Digicel Limited Overs Series at the Providence National Stadium on Friday and Sunday.
The two sides were greeted by Minister of Sports, Dr Frank Anthony, President of the Guyana Cricket Board, Chetram Singh and British High Commissioner to Guyana Fraser Wheeler along with other top officials.
While the England side was reluctant to comment on the upcoming matches, Windies star batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan and coach John Dyson both said that the players would be giving nothing short of 100% on the two days.
The home side is coming off a 1-0 series win in the five test series.
They also won the only Twenty20 match played in Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday.
According to Sarwan it was his team’s discipline and dedication to the game which was the key to their success so far in the series.
“I think right now we are being repaid for all the hard work that we have been putting in. The guys are very disciplined and have been showing consistency on the field with bat and ball so with those two being in place, it was easy for a victory to come,” said Sarwan.
Sarwan, who was named Man-of-the-Series in the test and Man- of-the-Match in the 20/20 encounter added that his good knock at the crease had come through hard training and good shot selection adding that he was looking forward to being consistent with his scoring on home soil.
“It’s been a while since I have played at home and I’m really looking forward to going out there and giving the Guyanese people a good showing. I’m not under any pressure to perform at home, I’m just going to go out there and keep playing the same game which has been good to me so far in the series,” said Sarwan.
Meanwhile, Dyson reiterated Sarwan’s sentiments while adding that he was expecting the team to pick up where they left off in the twenty20 match and keep on working hard.
“I know that the England team would want to come out looking for a win after losing the test and the twenty20 but we are hoping to maintain our good performance so far though they are some key areas which we know we have to work on in this format of the game.”
“After missing a player like Chris Gayle in the twenty20, the team has shown that they are other players who can step up and fill the gap which is very good at the moment. What you are seeing here is nothing but the reward for being disciplined on and off the pitch and if we can keep this up, we will go a far way,” said Australian Dyson.
The West Indies will be boosted with the presence of its captain Chris Gayle who had to sit out after suffering a grade one tear of his right hamstring that caused him to miss the fifth Test, and ruled him out of Sunday’s twenty20 international.
With Gayle’s return, the Grenadian Andre Fletcher has been omitted.
Dwayne Bravo was also included in the 13-man squad for the ODIs after demonstrating a sign of good fitness in the 20/20 fixture. Jamaican spinner Nikita Miller has replaced the lanky Barbadian Sulieman Benn.
The West Indies team: Chris Gayle (capt), Lendl Simmons, Devon Smith, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard, Fidel Edwards, Nikita Miller, Daren Powell, and Lionel Baker.