West Indies in Nelson for Cup opener
NELSON, New Zealand (CMC):
West Indies touched down here yesterday afternoon (Thursday night, Eastern Caribbean time) to begin final preparations for their opening 2015 World Cup clash against minnows Ireland on Monday.
Despite their rocky build-up to the tournament, the squad was in good spirits as they trained their sights on their opening fixture at the picturesque Saxton Oval, located in the small city on the north coast of South Island.
The Caribbean side spent the last 11 days in Sydney preparing for the tournament while also playing their two official warm-up matches.
They are set to train on Saturday morning and on Sunday afternoon, their last sessions before beginning their Group B campaign.
West Indies also face reigning World champions India, South Africa, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates.
Champions of the first two World Cups staged in England in 1975 and 1979, the Windies have been given little chance of winning the World Cup, and their recent unconvincing performances have given pundits little reason to dispel this notion.
They were thrashed 4-1 by South Africa in their five-match ODI series last month, and then crashed to an embarrassing nine-wicket defeat to England in their first warm-up match in Sydney last Monday, when they were bowled out for 122.
West Indies piled up 313 in their final warm-up on Thursday, but even then, narrowly escaped with a three-run victory against minnows Scotland.