Friday 7th March, 2008


Gayle: WI face tough challenge

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T&T opening batsman William Perkins plays an on-side shot during his innings of 27 in their Round Four Carib Beer Regional Series match against Jamaica at the Queen’s Park Oval last weekend. Perkins also made 25 in the match. Perkins will be looking to improve on his scores when T&T takes the Windward Islands in Dominica today. Photo: Anthony Harris

BRIDGETOWN—Newly-appointed West Indies captain Chris Gayle has described Sri Lanka as “a quality team” and says the regional side will face a challenge in the upcoming home series.

The 28-year old, announced on Wednesday to lead the Windies in the two Tests and One-Day Internationals, said he was looking forward to the support of the entire team during the campaign.

“We just have to work together and do what we can do best for West Indies cricket,” Gayle asserted.

“It’s a big challenge to lead West Indies on home soil and basically I am looking forward to it. It is something new (at home) but I know how it goes already so you just have to be strong about whatever you do as a captain.

“I am looking to the support from the guys, which I know I will get so I am not too concerned. I am just hoping to play some good cricket.

“Sri Lanka is a quality team so it’s going to be really, really interesting. Most of their guys have toured the Caribbean before so it’s going to a challenge for us.”

Gayle also called on West Indian fans to be patient and give the team as much support as possible.

“We are asking for patience from the public and support as well. We want them to come out and support the team and rally around us as usual. Don’t be too rash,” he implored.

“We started well in South Africa but a lot of injuries came into play and we lost the series (2-1 after winning the first Test]) but hopefully this time around things can be a bit different and we can enjoy it and hopefully the spectators can enjoy it as well and we are looking forward to a good series.”

Gayle said that with the Carib Beer Series being played at the moment, he was not concerned about the absence of a camp ahead of the first Test in Guyana, starting March 22.

“The thing about it is that we are in cricket right now so that’s an advantage for us. It’s nice spending time in the middle and getting a bit of form in bowling and batting,” he noted.

“Normally before a series it would be nice to have everybody together and so on and see how well we can work together from here on in.

“This is how the programme is set up and we just have to work with what we have now and just be ready for the Test series after the Carib Beer.”

Cup leaders Jamaica, on 42 points, and second-placed Barbados on 30 points, begin their crucial battle on Friday. (CMC)



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