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Cricket | International

WI make uncertain start on and off the field

West Indies insisted they still had enough time to prepare properly for their upcoming test series against England and get all their squad on board after another rain-marred day at Hove on Sunday.

After seeing the first day of their three-day tour opener against Sussex washed out on Saturday, the tourists struggled to 46 for two in the 18 overs possible at the south coast ground on Sunday.

Meanwhile the West Indies, who currently only have 11 players fit and available with them in England, have yet to hear when visa and transit issues involving Assad Fudadin, Narsingh Deonarine and Marlon Samuels will be resolved.

They are all thousands of miles away, with the two Guyanese in Jamaica awaiting visas and Samuels still to begin his journey from the Indian Premier League. However, a team spokesman said the trio were expected shortly.

"We are not concerned about it," he said. "We are hopeful that they will be here in time for the (England) Lions match."

That four-day fixture in Northampton, central England, starts on Thursday and that means the tourists have a maximum of just five days' competitive play to come before the first of three tests starts at Lord's on May 17.

And, with more bad weather forecast, they may not even get that.

However, opener Adrian Barath – bowled for 16 on Sunday – said: "I think there's sufficient time.

"Normally we wouldn't have all this time, coming in a week before," the 22-year-old added. "That will serve us well.

"We're looking to grasp the opportunity, and make every opportunity count.

"They're very important. It's good that we're here two weeks before the first test match."

In typical early season English conditions – cold and damp, with cloud cover for the seamers – West Indies lost the toss on Sunday and were sent into bat.

Barath fell when he deflected a ball from 20-year-old Kirk Wernars, a former South African Under-19 international, onto his stumps off the bottom of his thigh pad.

New batsman Kirk Edwards ought to have gone for a second-ball duck, but was dropped at second slip by Luke Wells off Chris Liddle.

But it was not too costly an error with left-arm seamer Liddle dismissing Edwards for eight with the aid of a catch by third slip Chris Nash.

When the umpires abandoned play for the day, Kieran Powell was 19 not out and Darren Bravo one not out.

Barath insisted he and his colleagues were ready to tough it out in what are set to be trying circumstances, even for batsmen used to England in May.

"I don't mind the extreme conditions. It's nice to experience these things," he said.

"We're not surprised about these conditions. It's something we expected."


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