p style=”text-align: justify;”>Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy is feeling the effects of a stiff back but is determined to play, when West Indies come up against Pakistan in their second match of the ICC Cricket World Cup against Pakistan on Saturday (Friday evening Caribbean time).
Sammy stroked a wonderful 89 in the opening loss to Ireland and is now struggling to be fully fit ahead of the must-win second match. News coming from the West Indies camp is that the St Lucian will play “no matter what”, given the perilous position that the West Indies finds itself in.
Yesterday, the team did not train as is customary 48 hours before a match. They did some gym work, as well as swimming and then had a two-hour planning session at their hotel in Christchurch.
Today, the regional players will arm themselves with bat and ball and go down to Hagley Park for a session, which will also include fielding drills.
Left arm spinner, Sulieman Benn is also suffering from a stiff back and is fighting against the clock to be fit for the game.
Apart from the two men with injured backs, the other players are all fit and raring to go, looking to bring their team back into the tournament.
After the opening game, it has been agreed that the senior players would take more of a hands on approach in assisting young captain Jason Holder. The Barbadian remains strong despite his less than impressive start as captain and senior men in Sammy, Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels are now going to come more into the fore as the tournament progresses.
Chairman of selectors, Clive Lloyd has made the trip over to New Zealand and has been speaking to the players, trying to inspire them and get them to believe in themselves. They will face a Pakistan team that is again embroiled in controversy. Grant Luden tendered his resignation after being reportedly dejected over the attitude of some players. It is alleged that he was unhappy with the behaviour of Shahid Afridi, Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal and accused them of abusive behaviour.
The team management put in a lot of effort to persuade Luden to withdraw his resignation, assuring him that all his grievances will be addressed. Luden was disappointed with Pakistan’s poor show in the opening match against India on Sunday which they lost by 76 runs at the Adelaide Oval. The South African coach was upset after some cricketers expressed dissatisfaction over his working ways. Luden then decided to call it quits.
Luden was appointed by former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi on May 30, 2014, after he was relieved by Bangladesh from the same post at the conclusion of the 2014 World Twenty20.
The South African was appointed soon after Waqar Younis was hired as head coach, Mushtaq Ahmad as bowling coach and Grant Flower as batting coach.