WI hunt revenge on home turf

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):Following their chastening whitewash last September, West Indies are quietly hoping to return the favour on home soil when they take on Pakistan in the four-match Twenty20 International series starting at Kensington Oval here today.The T20 World champions looked a shadow of the side that dominated the showpiece in India just months before, as they slumped to an embarrassing 3-0 loss in the United Arab Emirates.But even though revenge rests on their minds, captain Carlos Brathwaite said they were taking nothing for granted against a dangerous Pakistan side.”They are very, very worthy opponents,” Brathwaite told reporters yesterday.”I think they are one of the better teams in the world as well and it is tough playing them in their backyard but we welcome them to the West Indies and we want to take home advantage as well.”He added: “I think they play a fearless brand of cricket. Sometimes you see them dismissed for 80, but on another day, they can make 180, 200, and it can be very exciting as well.”I think one of their strengths is their rotation of strike in the middle overs. They play spin very well.”It’s about us counteracting that; not focussing on their strengths but maximising ours.”West Indies will again miss the talents of superstar opener Chris Gayle and will also have to do without the experienced all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell.PROVEN MATCH WINNERSHowever, they have at their disposal the likes of Kieron Pollard, Marlon Samuels and Lendl Simmons, all of whom are proven match winners in the game’s shortest format.Brathwaite pointed out that even without some of their leading names, West Indies were still an extremely strong side and were backing themselves to put up big totals.”We have strength in depth. Not having Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell, and still being able to pick the team we’ve selected is massive for any international team,” he noted.”One thing we’ve always been able to boast of is power-hitters, and we have four or five one after the other and with three or four in the shed. There’s a perfect mix of experience and youth as well. We have very, very young guys like … Rovman Powell, Jason Mohammed, but then there’s still elder statesmen although Pollard is only 28, he is a T20 veteran.Last year’s nightmare against Pakistan still looms large. It was not so much that the Windies lost the series, but rather, the way in which they did.They mustered a paltry 115 in the opening game batting first and lost by nine wickets, failed to chase down 160 in the second outing and lost by 16 runs before scraping together 103 in their final game to lose by eight wickets.Brathwaite admitted he was still unsure about what went wrong, but said he hoped the team would put things right in the upcoming series.”[I’m] not sure. It’s a multitude of factors. Obviously, when things don’t go as well as you would like, everyone seems to know the problem, but in the dressing room, we are trying to find the solutions,” he said.SQUADSWEST INDIES Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Samuel Badree, Jason Holder, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton, Kesrick Williams.PAKISTAN Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Ahmad Shahzad, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Muhammad Nawaz , Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Rumman Raees, Usman Khan Shinwari.last_img read more

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Football Association of Wales rules out appointment of Englishman as Wales manager

first_imgWales have ruled out appointing an Englishman to replace Chris Coleman as manager after the Welshman stepped down last month, Welsh football governing body (FAW) has said.Coleman sought a new challenge at struggling English Championship side Sunderland after failing to lead his countrymen to next year’s World Cup in Russia.”We have always favoured Welsh people because arguably the passion is there,” FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford was quoted as saying by local media.”Somebody said this earlier, Welsh most definitely, foreign possibly, but definitely not English.”The last six Wales managers, including caretakers, have been Welsh, with Englishman Bobby Gould between 1995-99 being the last non-Welshman to manage the national team.Ford said the FAW hopes to appoint Coleman’s successor before the draw for the new UEFA Nations League on Jan. 24.”We have a little bit of time and we will be going through that process, a diligent process, to select our new manager, maybe towards the end of this year or the start of next year,” Ford added.”We have the draw for the European Nations League at the end of January so it would be lovely to take a new manager across to that draw, so that gives you the first sort of deadline we are working to.”Coleman’s assistant Osian Roberts and former Wales strikers Craig Bellamy and John Hartson have expressed interest in the job. British media have linked Welshman Tony Pulis to the hot seat after he was sacked by West Bromwich Albion last month.advertisement”Understandably a lot of people have expressed interest. These kinds of jobs advertise themselves,” Ford said.”But I also have to go and see the relevant people. It’s a two-way street – people will assess us as much as we assess them and I would expect any prospective candidate to understand the system we have in place.”Wales next play in the China Cup at the end of March in a four-team tournament with the hosts, Czech Republic and Uruguay.last_img read more

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