Visa problems leave Windies short
KINGSTON, JAMAICA - West Indies were still waiting on three players to join their touring party, even as the first tour match of the series was set to bowl off here yesterday.
Guyanese batsmen Narsingh Deonarine and Assad Fudadin have been stuck in Jamaica in recent days dealing with visa issues, while Jamaican all-rounder Marlon Samuels is en route from India where he has been campaigning in the Indian Premier League.
Captain Darren Sammy yesterday confirmed the absence of the players but said they were expected to arrive shortly.
"We have 12 guys here right now, and I think the other three are coming in later this evening," said the captain.
"It's a little bit to do with visas. They're going to be here, and they're not missing anything right now."
Luckily for West Indies, the opening day of the first tour match against Sussex was abandoned yesterday due to rain.
However, Sammy downplayed any negative impact the missing players may have on the team setup, noting that West Indies were yet to name a team for the three-day match.
"We've not named our XI. They're batsmen, so they could come in and play straight away," he said.
The tour has gotten off to a bumpy start for the tourists since arriving here Wednesday. Adverse weather confined them to an indoor training session on Thursday and while they put in a full workout on Friday under bleak skies, Saturday's abandonment has robbed them of valuable practice.
The game is one of two warm-up games planned before the first Test bowls off on May 17, with the side scheduled to face England Lions – the country's A squad – in a four-day match in Northampton starting next Thursday.