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The West Indians arrive … with boost from Lanka part of the way

October 3, 2015

Sri Lankan Airlines flies Windies to the islandThe Island, 2 October 2015

article_image The Windies with no room to swing
National Carrier Sri Lankan Airlines flew the West Indies cricket team to the island yesterday. Arriving from London, the cricketers were warmly welcomed by the SriLankan staff at Bandaranaike International Airport. The visitors are scheduled to play two Tests, three ODIs and two T20s. The SriLankan Airlines office in the USA was instrumental in making the national carrier the team’s choice of travel for their tour of Sri Lanka, which is incidentally after a lapse of three years. The West Indians were here last in 2012 when they won the World T-20 beating hosts Sri Lanka in the finals at R. Premadasa Stadium.

Chris Dhambarage reports in Daily News, 2 October 2015:  “Tough task for Windies in Sri Lanka”

The West Indies cricketers arriving at the Bandaranaike International Airport. Picture by Kumarasiri Prasad

Once the most dominant force in world cricket, the West Indies team arrived in the country yesterday, hoping to put aside their on and off field controversies and to redeem some of their lost prestige during the series against Sri Lanka. The West Indies led by Jason Holder will start their 44 day tour with a three-day fixture against the Sri Lanka Board President’s XI on October 8, at the SSC ground in Maitland Place. The first Test will be played from October 14-18 at the Galle International Stadium.

The second Test will commence on October 22 at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo. The first ODI will be staged on November 1 at the R. Premadasa Stadium followed by the second ODI on November 4 at the same venue.

The third and final ODI will be worked off on November 7 at the Pallekele Stadium which will also host the first Twenty20 match on November 9. The second and final T20 will be held on November 12 at the R. Premadasa Stadium.

The West Indies team, packed with a lot of youngsters will need to get their act together well immediately as they look to bounce back into recognition despite the absence of some of their stalwarts who have contributed immensely in the past few years.

However, the team has been plagued with chaotic mismanagement and rows over player contracts that have pushed them back to a huge extent in the international arena in recent years.

Their biggest setback came a couple days ago when the team failed to qualify for the 2017 Champions Trophy in England after the side was pushed into the ninth position in the ICC ODI Team Rankings.

This will certainly be a huge disappointment for the West Indies ahead of the series against Sri Lanka as the Caribbean islanders are still recovering following the suspension of regular coach Phil Simmons earlier. In fact this will be the first time that the West Indies are missing out from any of cricket’s three big limited over events – the 50 over World Cup, Champions Trophy and the T20 World Cup.

The main concern for the West Indies during this series will be the lack of experience in the side with former captain Denesh Ramdin with 69 Tests as the most senior player in the squad.

Marlon Samuels who has made his appearance in a total of 59 Test matches is the second most experienced player while 23 year old skipper Holder (8 Tests) will be making his debut as Test captain.

In fact Holder not only has the tough task of rebuilding the team but also to spearhead the West Indies towards recording the first win in a Test match on Sri Lankan soil.

In nine Test matches, the West Indies have gone through without any success while losing five and drawing four.

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SriLankan Airlines flew the West Indies cricket team to the island yesterday. Arriving from London, the cricketers received a warm welcome at the Bandaranaike International Airport. The visitors are scheduled to play 2 test matches, three one day internationals and two T20 matches against the Sri Lankans, starting from October 14, 2015. The SriLankan Airlines office in the USA was instrumental in making the national carrier the team’s choice of travel for their tour of Sri Lanka.

 

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