WI arrive in Australia for tough assignment
BRISBANE, Australia (CMC):
West Indies made a quiet arrival in the picturesque east coast city yesterday to begin preparation for their three-Test series against Australia staring next month.
The squad, led by captain Jason Holder, arrived via New York and Los Angeles following two days of travel from the Caribbean.
West Indies will train their attention first on a five-day camp at the Allan Border Field before taking on a young Cricket Australia XI in a four-day game starting Wednesday at the same venue.
A significant presence in the squad is that of head coach Phil Simmons, who missed the recent Test and limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka through suspension.
He was pulled from that tour by the West Indies Cricket Board after he bizarrely claimed in a media conference that the selection of the one-day squad had been influenced by "outside interference".
Simmons, appointed following the ICC World Cup earlier this year, subsequently apologised after appearing before the WICB's human resources committee, and was promptly reinstated.
The Trinidadian will be leading West Indies for the first time on an overseas tour after presiding over the home tours against England and Australia.
While Simmons has returned, the series will mark the final one for Sir Richie Richardson in his five-year stint as team manager.
The former West Indies captain and batting star is set to take up duties as an ICC match referee following the series.
For the Caribbean side, the highlight of the series will be the Boxing Day second Test in Melbourne, as the tourists have not had the courtesy of being part of this historic fixture in 15 years.
Several hundred West Indians, who reside in Australia, are expected to mark the Boxing Day Test with a mini-carnival.
West Indies will play the opening Test in Hobart starting December 10 and the third Test in Sydney, starting in the New Year, and are expected to face a tough assignment against the powerful Aussies.
Significantly, they have not won a Test Down Under in 18 years and have also not beaten Australia in a Test for 12 years.
SQUAD: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite (vice-captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Rajindra Chandrika, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Jomel Warrican.