India would have been ideal for preparation, says Law

Left-hander Shimron Hetmyer plays through the onside during his top score of 60 in the West Indies practice game on Sunday. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, CMC – Head coach Stuart Law has lamented West Indies’ lack of access to training facilities in India, after the regional side were forced to use the ICC Academy here to begin their preparation for the two-Test series starting next week.

The Caribbean unit have spent the last week training at the stadium here and will only travel to India tomorrow, just days ahead of their two-day tour game against the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) President’s XI starting Saturday in Vadodara.

Law said the ideal preparation for the squad would have been using India as a training base in the build-up to the series.

“We tried to get into India but we were told there weren’t any places available for us. It would have been nice to be in India. There would have been less travel,” the Australian told Times of India.

“The ICC Global Academy said they had cricket going and thus offered us to come over here. We have to take what we have got. We are enjoying ourselves.”

The BCCI said the lack of available facilities was as a result of fixture congestion, owing to the start of the domestic season.

“We have so many teams this season,” TOI quoted a BCCI spokesman as saying.

“To accommodate them at a time when the domestic season has got underway would always be difficult.” West Indies opened a two-day practice match against a UAE XI on Sunday, racking up 345 for five with left-hander Shimron Hetmyer top-scoring with 60, Shai Hope and Roston Chase both getting 51, and Sunil Ambris, 47.

Law said afterwards the outing had been critical to the squad’s preparation, especially in acclimatising to conditions.

“It was a great hit [on Sunday] for our batsmen in extreme heat,” he said.

“All the batsmen had some valuable time in the middle and our preparation has been excellent so far. The boys are adjusting nicely to the tough conditions.”

The final practice session scheduled for today has been scrapped, a Windies team statement said yesterday.

West Indies are scheduled to face off with India in the opening Test in Rajkot beginning October 4, before clashing again with the hosts in the final Test in Hyderabad from October 12.

The tourists have not beaten India in a Test series in 16 years and are also without a series win on the subcontinent since the legendary Clive Lloyd’s side triumphed 35 years ago.

Following the Test tour, they clash with India in five One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals.

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