Stronger, fitter Fidel ready for comeback

Kingston, Jamaica – Fidel Edwards is eyeing a successful comeback to the international stage. The fiery fast bowler, who was sidelined for a long period with a back injury, has been named in the West Indies squad to face India in the First Digicel Test match. First ball at Sabina Park on Monday is 10 am (11 am Eastern Caribbean Time). The 29-year-old Edwards joined Windies team-mates in a full three-hour training session on Saturday at Sabina Park. He had an extended bowl in the nets and declared himself “ready” if selected in the starting line-up. Speaking to the local and international media, he outlined his rehabilitation, the challenges he faced, how he overcame the obstacles, his good showing with the ball for Barbados earlier this year in the WICB Regional 4 Day Tournament, and his hunger for success at the international level. Edwards, has a love affair with Sabina Park a place he calls a “home away from home”. He made his Test debut at the historic ground eight years ago and had a dream match, taking five wickets in his first bowl against Sri Lanka. “I have always loved bowling here at Sabina Park. For me it’s like a second home (ground)... I would say a home away from home. I've had some success here with the ball, for West Indies as well as for Barbados and I'm looking for even more success, if the selectors name me in the XI,” Edwards said. “I played my first Test match here and did very well. In that game I got five (wickets) in the first innings and six in the match and that really was great. The crowd here in Jamaica are very good and really support West Indies team, and that's always something you can feed off as a players.” In his career so far, Edwards has played 43 Test matches, making him the most experienced bowler in the West Indies squad. He has taken 122 wickets, with best figures of 7-87 against New Zealand at Napier in 2008. “I am bowling far better, in more consistent areas and swinging a lot more than before. I am training a lot harder, gym a lot, strengthening my back, my legs, my muscles, my weak areas a lot,” he said. “I now need to take it step by step. I have bowled long spells in February and March; I remember a really long spell against England Lions and I have been injury free.” WINDIES TEST SQUAD Darren Sammy – Captain Brendan Nash – Vice Captain Adrian Barath Carlton Baugh Devendra Bishoo Darren Bravo Shivnarine Chanderpaul Fidel Edwards Ravi Rampaul Kemar Roach Marlon Samuels Ramnaresh Sarwan Lendl Simmons
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