Walsh will play

The Gleaner

January 13, 1998

CRICKET: Former captain Courtney Walsh will play under new boss Brian Lara if selected to play for the West Indies in the first Test against England which starts January 29 at Sabina Park.

``I am looking forward to the first Test against England but I also wish that the controversy which has developed over the captaincy will end now,'' Walsh said.

``My aim first and foremost is to play Test cricket whether or not I am the captain as that is not the real issue,'' according to Walsh who has 353 Test wickets and needs 24 more to go past Malcolm Marshall and become the leading regional wicket taker. Marshall retired with 376 Test wickets.

Turning to the just concluded four-day match the Jamaica captain said gaining first innings points against the defending regional champions Barbados was a good start as the local team started out without most of their campaigners.

``Our younger players had a good game especially pace bowler Kirk Powell who picked up four wickets in the first innings and wicketkeeper Andre Coley who took six catches in the game.

``It was just unfortunate for young Coley to get hit under the chin from one of my deliveries, especially as fielding was our high point on a pitch which was a bit damp at the start of the game,'' he said.

Meanwhile Barbados Manager Tony Howard although disappointed with the draw, is looking forward to the rest of the season.

``The players are playing very well together at this moment and special mention must be given to Hattian Graham who has a lot of potential. He batted for over three hours which is a revelation and his bowling was excellent.

``We are looking to go from strength to strength as the spirit in the camp is very high,'' Howard said.

Source: The Jamaica Gleaner

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Date-stamped : 25 Feb1998 - 18:45