WICRICNEWS – A full-strength West Indies team will tour South Africa next month despite their dramatic mid-series
withdrawal from India last month, one-day international captain Dwayne Bravo said in Durban yesterday.
“It’s all sorted out and the West Indies are going to be back playing again,” Bravo said at Kingsmead, where he was officially welcomed as the Dolphins’ overseas player for the domestic T20 competition.
The Caribbean outfit will play three Tests, three T20 Internationals and five ODIs around the country over the festive period. Doubts over the tour surfaced after the West Indian team cut short its tour of India last month over a pay dispute.
Reports on Monday indicated the contract crisis was close to an end. “As far as I know the best West Indies team will tour South Africa,” Bravo said. “Everyone is available as far as I know and we look forward to trying to give the South African boys a good run. It’s always going to be tough, but it’s good that all the matters are resolved now.”
The seasoned all-rounder was looking forward to his spell with the Dolphins and hoped the team would repeat last season’s success. “We know South Africa in general is tough country, so you need to be well prepared and have a good work ethic.
“I expect it will not be an easy tournament. It’s going to really test my skills, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. “The priority is a top two spot that will put us in the Champions League. The guys did it last year and I’m sure we can do it again this year.”
Bravo was the last of five high-profile West Indian players to arrive in the country for the T20 series. Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell and Chris Gayle all took part in the triple-header opening matches in Johannesburg over the weekend.
Playing in domestic competition would help the players acclimatize ahead of their seven-week tour which starts next month. “The five of us will be part of the ODI and T20 set-up so it’s a good preparation for us. Some of us go to the Big Bash after that too, so this will help us.
“But for now I just want to focus on the job at hand and share my experience. Also to learn from one of the great all-rounders of his time — coach Lance Klusener. I’m looking forward to it.”
Klusener, meanwhile, was ecstatic to have signed “the best all-rounder in the world”.
“Dwayne is probably the best all-rounder in the world in my mind,” Klusener said.
“So going after the very best is what we try to do and I’m happy we were able to get him. From a team balance point of view, he fills two gaps and he is also a natural winner.” (Sports24)
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