Baptiste prepares for first session in charge of WI
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CMC):
Interim head coach Eldine Baptiste will oversee West Indies training for the first time today when the regional side undergoes their first practice session since arriving here Thursday.
The 15-man squad will train at the Singalese Sports Club in the capital here as they begin final preparation for their two-Test series against Sri Lanka.
Baptiste, a current West Indies selector, was a last-minute replacement for Phil Simmons, who was suspended for the tour following controversial comments last week that were critical of the selection process, regarding the one-day team for the Sri Lanka tour.
The Antiguan Baptiste, who played 10 Tests and 43 one-day internationals, is a former Kenya coach.
Despite Simmons's late withdrawal, CMC Sports understands the Windies squad are in high spirits, especially coming off a productive training camp in Barbados last week.
Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who missed that camp while on a two-match contract with Worcestershire in the English County Championship, has joined the squad here and is expected to bring freshness to the pace attack.
The 27-year-old Gabriel played two games, taking nine wickets, including a five-wicket haul in the last game against Middlesex, which Worcestershire won by an innings and 128 runs.
West Indies will face Sri Lanka President's XI in a three-day tour match starting next Thursday before clashing with the hosts in the opening Test in Galle starting October 14.