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WI have 11 at hand


BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

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The?West Indies?were down to just 11 fit cricketers yesterday on their tour of England, with visa problems leaving Guyanese batsmen Narasingh Deonarine and Assad Fudadin stuck in Jamaica.
A third player, Jamaican all-rounder Marlon Samuels, was en route to England from India where he had been campaigning in the Indian Premier League, while pacer Fidel Edwards has been sidelined with a “back niggle”.
“The rules have become more stringent due to the Olympics and we’re still working on getting that sorted,” a West Indies spokesman told the ESPN cricinfo website.
But captain Darren Sammy, who confirmed the absence of the players, 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,” he said.
“It’s a little bit to do with visas. They’re going to be here, and they’re not missing anything right now,” Sammy added.
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 had not named 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.
However, the West Indies team management said they had not thought about reinforcements or even calling up 34-year-old former Test seamer Corey Collymore who is currently playing for Middlesex as a Kolpak player as cover for Edwards.
The 30-year-old Edwards, who is the most experienced of the fast bowlers, missed the final Test against Australia in Dominica due to the same problem and has a history of back troubles.
“It’s not bad. We came here knowing Fidel would be rested for this game. He was rested for the last match. Come the first Test, everybody will be ready,” Sammy said confidently. (EZS/CMC)

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