PREVIEW: Windies face Kenya in CWC warm-up

Colombo, Sri Lanka – West Indies will look to start their preparations for the ICC Cricket World Cup with a good performance when they face Kenya in an official warm-up match on Saturday. First ball is 9.30 am (12 midnight Eastern Caribbean Time/11 pm Friday Jamaica Time).

The weather all week has been excellent with brilliant sunshine and cooling winds. Both teams will be hoping for a full run-out at the newly-refurbished R Premadasa Stadium in the inner city community of Khetterama. The Windies has a full training session on Friday morning at the ground and skipper Darren Sammy said all systems were in place for the game.

“We are a bit fresher than other teams I suppose. We have been here for over a week now and even though we lost the ODIs to Sri Lanka we got a true sense of what will be required. It taught us the areas we need to catch up in to go all the way. This is my first World Cup, and like many other young people in my team, I am excited to have the chance to lead the West Indies team.”

Sammy, who took over the job five months ago, added that the players will all be looking to get fully into World Cup mode.

“We are here for the biggest event in the history of the game of cricket and we want to impress. This is the official start of things for us. We will be looking to do well and ‘tick’ all the boxes. We have been doing a lot of work in the nets and a lot of planning. This could be the start of an exciting time for us as a team.”

The West Indies will have a second warm-up match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday also at the Premadasa Stadium before they open their World Cup campaign against South Africa on February 24 in Delhi. That will be followed by matches against Netherlands, Bangladesh, Ireland, England, and India.

The Kenyans are coached by former West Indies all-rounder Eldine Baptiste. They arrived on Wednesday, and began training on Thursday for the warm-up match against the Windies.

“We were also in India for two weeks recently, so we got some good idea of how the conditions will play. We have realised that length and line for this World Cup has to different. The pitch is likely to be a little slow and turn a bit more. So we have to make a few adjustments between now and our first game. World Cup is one of the biggest showpiece in the world when it comes to cricket. It is about being yourself and going out and expressing yourself to show what you can do.”

The Kenyans will play in Group A along with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe.

West Indies: Darren Sammy (Captain), Dwayne Bravo (Vice Captain), Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh, Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Shiv Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Nikita Miller, Kieron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Ramnaresh Sarwan
Kenya: Jimmy Kamande (Captain), Tanmay Mishra, Shem Ngoche, Alex Obanda, Collins Obuya, David Obuya, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Thomas Odoyo, Peter Ongondo, Elijah Otieno, James Otieno, Maurice Ouma, Rakep Patel, Steve Tikolo, Seren Waters
Umpires: Nigel Llong and Daryl Harper; Third umpire: Ian Gould; Match referee: Graeme Labrooy
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