IPL stars missing as training camp opens
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – West Indies open a training camp here Friday in preparation for the New Zealand Test series but will be without three of their Indian Premier League stars.
Opening batsman Chris Gayle, fast bowler Jason Holder and off-spinner Sunil Narine, who have all been included in the squad for the camp, are all still in India with their IPL franchises and will miss the start of the camp.
The camp runs until June 4 before the final squad moves on to Jamaica for the opening Test at Sabina Park from June 8-12.
Gayle’s Royal Challengers Bangalore were eliminated from playoff contention on Thursday while Holder is yet to play a game for Sunrisers Hyderabad who are fifth in the IPL standings, and still in contention for the final four.
Narine’s Kolkata Knight Riders, however, have already qualified for the playoffs which begin next Tuesday. The IPL wraps up with the grand final on June 1.
Instead of the High Performance Centre facilities at the 3Ws Oval, UWI Cave Hill Campus, the camp will for the first time utilise the Franklyn Stephenson Academy, in the central parish of St Thomas.
Players will be put through fitness training as well as net sessions at the venue, and will also play two three-day matches against local opposition at the 3Ws Oval.
The camp will be Denesh Ramdin’s first as captain following his appointment to succeed Darren Sammy.
West Indies and New Zealand will also play Tests in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.