Greetings and welcome to Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, as West Indies and Pakistan get ready to face each other in the first of their 3- match Test series.
The match marks the historic occasion of the 50th test to be played at Sabina Park and promises to be a battle royal as Pakistan seeks to break the winless drought of a Test series in the Caribbean.
On the other hand, the Windies will be seeking to maintain their bragging rights of not losing a Test series at home to Pakistan.
That said, the Windies, however, is smarting from an almost whitewash series against Pakistan when they last met in the United Arab Emirates, merely surviving with a five-wicket win in Sharjah.
The West Indies has made five changes to their squad that toured the UAE last October, including the addition of two uncapped players, one of whom is ICC Under-19 World Cup winning captain Shimron Hetmyer.
Windies captain Jason Holder views his squad as young and inexperienced, but one which can perform well once the transition is made by players from domestic to international competition.
“I think this squad that we have is a very good squad,” Holder said. “It’s a young squad and guys have been doing well in first-class cricket. It’s just about transitioning that into the international circuit now and being consistent here.”
He also believes the pitch holds a lot in it for his pace bowlers.
“It’s interesting, obviously quite a bit of moisture there in the surface. There’s a bit of grass cover there as well so I think there should be something in maybe the first hour of play for the faster bowlers,” Holder posited.
West Indies will no doubt miss from their lineup, the batting experience of Jamaican Marlon Samuels as well as Trinidad and Tobago’s top order batter Darren Bravo.
Samuels, though dropped from the team, has declared that he has taken a break from Test cricket and will be focusing his attention on the T20 games.
In the meanwhile, Darren Bravo’s current impasse with the West Indies continues, as a result of a tweet in which he referred to West Indies Cricket Board President Dave Cameron as a “big idiot.”
He was subsequently sent home from Zimbabwe in November 2016 following his tweet.
Bravo has not played for the Windies since then and is currently claiming through the court, loss of earnings of about US$120,000 based on what he could have made from ODIs against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, BPL and PSL contracts, and regional Caribbean competitions, according to press reports.
Carol Maye, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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