West Indies arrive for Tri-Nation battle

“The first aspect is about winning” says Simmons

By Akeem Greene

The West Indies Cricket Team arrived in Guyana on Monday at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport, Ogle for the Tri- Nation Series also involving South Africa and Australia.
The team was greeted by several representatives from sponsors Digicel, Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) President Drubahdur, Vice-President of GCB Fazal Bacchus and Director of Sport Christopher Jones.
The men in maroon will be chasing their first series win since the home series against Bangladesh in 2014, where they won 3-0 and head coach of the team Phil Simmons explained that goal is to win despite the quality of the opposition.
“In any tournament,  the first aspect about it is winning and that’s how I play the game,  to win every time  I go into a game; so are going to try and look for the best way we as a team can win the tournament,” the head coach said.
The West Indies would have lost both of their warm up matches against a Barbados Select XI but the coach believes it is nothing to worry about since several seasoned players were missing.

Phil Simmons
Phil Simmons

“We played two warm up games, we had five players missing so I’m not worried about that, we have a good camp where the guys worked hard, so that was the important thing.”
Simmons, who is the former coach of the Irleand, took over West Indies duty in March of last year and has been very outspoken about selection policy of the team.
The team selected for the first four matches of the series has omitted experienced players such Christopher Gayle, Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell.
Quizzed on their omissions Simmons said, “I don’t want to go back into that, we are here and we are here to play against the two teams and that is what we are going to do.”
The Tri-nation series means International cricket will be returning to the stadium after nearly three years and GCB President Drubahdur- revealed that all systems are in place for the hosting of the matches.
Drubahadur also alluded to the fact that history will be created in Guyana since the country will be hosting a Tri-Nation series for the first time and that all the  matches will be played under lights.
The GCB head also stated that “the stadium is in immaculate condition and that security systems are in place and also explained that “ticket sales are going reasonably well but persons may also be purchasing online.”
Director of Sport Christopher Jones expressed excitement over the matches being played here, as it gives an avenue to further exploit sports tourism.
“It’s game on! Any person inside the region or especially those Guyanese who are currently home from the Diaspora to celebrate the jubilee celebrations, this is an additional treat for them to come out to come out to the games and be part of the activities as well” Jones posited.
The West Indies will play South Africa on Friday, followed by a match against Australia on Sunday, and then the two visiting powerhouses will play on Tuesday. Australia are the current world champions wile South Africa are ranked number three in the One Day International format.
Tickets can be bought at the GCB’s office on  Regent road or at the National Stadium, Providence.
Ticket prices for the matches are $4000 for the Green and Red Stand; $3,000 for the Orange stand and $2,000 for the party mound.
West Indies squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Shannon Gabriel, Sunil Narine, Ashley Nurse, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Marlon Samuels and Jerome Taylor.
Rawl Lewis (Team Manager)
Phillip Simmons (Head Coach
Stuart Williams (Assistant Coach)
Roddy Estwick (Assistant Coach)
Andre Coley (Assistant Coach)
C.J. Clark (Physiotherapist)
Ronald Rogers (Strength and Conditioning Coach)
Virgil Browne (Massage Therapist)
Philip Spooner (Media Manager)
Dexter Augustus (Analyst)
All matches bowl off at 13:00 hrs.

Friday 3: West Indies vs South Africa – Guyana National Stadium
Sunday 5: West Indies vs Australia – Guyana National Stadium
Tuesday 7: Australia vs South Africa – Guyana National Stadium
Saturday 11: South Africa vs Australia – Warner Park
Monday 13: West Indies vs Australia – Warner Park
Wednesday 15: West Indies vs South Africa – Warner Park
Sunday 19: Australia vs South Africa – Kensington Oval
Tuesday 21: West Indies vs Australia – Kensington Oval
Friday 24: West Indies vs South Africa – Kensington Oval
Sunday 26: The Final – Kensington Oval