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Walsh To Miss Rest Of One-Day Series

by Gayle Alleyne

April 02 1998

EVERGREEN West Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh is out for the rest of the One-Day cricket series against England.

He conferred with captain Brian Lara and the selectors after yesterday's victory at Kensington Oval and officially requested to withdraw from the remaining three matches. It was widely speculated in the British Press that Walsh, 35, would sit out to prepare for his testimonial year with county side, Gloustershire.

``I think the time has come for some youngsters to get the chance in One-Day cricket. I was asked about the One-Day games from Antigua (last Test) and I indicated I would play the first two and see how it goes.

``I think the time is right now for us to try somebody else with the World Cup not too far away just in case things don't work out for me. I'm not getting any younger and One-Day cricket is a faster game.

No point

``We have a lot of One-Day Internationals ahead. It's no point playing out the series and come next season we haven't got anyone to look at,'' said the Jamaican stalwart.

He added that insufficient 50-over competitions in the region prevented the West Indies from blooding as many players as they would like.

Walsh said he felt ``very good'' physically during the preceding Test series and into the One-Day contest.

``Today (yesterday) is the first I felt a little tired. I just wanted to survive this game, get through with a win and then let us get some youngsters in.''

He intends to spend a few weeks ``recharging the batteries'' and organising himself to go to England.

Lara endorsed Walsh's request, noting the former West Indies captain had a strenuous tour.

``Courtney has had a very tough three months and he has asked for a rest, quite rightly. I think he has done tremendously in the Tests series and he has done his service in the One-Day games.

``We haven't sat to select the team (for St. Vincent) but consideration will be given to that. Courtney deserves it.''

For those who will start speculating that this is the beginning of the end for Walsh, the bowler was quick to point out he would be willing and ready to play One-Days again, if selected for the South Africa tour at yearend.

Asked about striding to the wicket with two runs needed to win yesterday's match and many doubting his ability to secure them, the No.11 batsman smiled wryly and quipped: ``I was never in doubt.''

Source: The Barbados Nation
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Date-stamped : 02 Apr1998 - 22:24