Windies and Pakistan chase respite


Published: Thursday 19th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Pakistan and West Indies are two troubled teams who will be badly in need of respite via victory when they meet in World Cup Pool B on Saturday.

Both were beaten in their opening match, Pakistan losing face in defeat against arch rivals India in Adelaide and the Windies getting their campaign off to a miserable start when they were unable to stop Ireland chasing 304 for seven in Nelson.

Christchurch will therefore prove a sanctuary for one, and the site of yet more soul-searching for the other.

Young West Indies captain Jason Holder, and old hand Darren Sammy, both spoke admirably after the setback against Ireland about their determination to urgently put things right.

The Windies’ preparation for this world tournament was beset by the disenchantment of several senior players, apparently emanating from the dispute which saw the Windies pull out mid-tour of their trip to India last year, and the controversial subsequent decision to leave Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard out of the World Cup squad.

Former captain, and all-time batting great, Brian Lara is among those aghast at events.

He told the Trinidad Guardian: “I believe we have shot ourselves in the foot – and had the people who selected our team seen the World Cup for the prestigious tournament it is, both Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo would have been in Australia and New Zealand.

“It is hard to understand the reasons why they are absent. It’s a self-inflicted blow, for sure.”

While the Windies must somehow try to get back on track without full cylinders, Pakistan seem to be in a pickle too.

Before the tournament began, the Pakistan Cricket Board made early waves with a diktat banning players from using social media websites such as Twitter.

On a warm-up visit to Christchurch, batsman Haris Sohail was unavailable after he claimed to have been spooked by a ghost during the night in his hotel room.

Since then, a broken curfew by several players led to fines, and most recently a reported disagreement between several others and fielding coach Grant Luden was followed by news that the latter had resigned – only for the PCB to then state: “The news is absolutely false, and nothing of the sort has happened.”

An overdue win will be priceless for one beleaguered line-up at the Hagley Oval.

Published: Thursday 19th February 2015 by The News Editor

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