OMAR KHAN, ex-manager of the Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies cricket teams, has urged the regional fans to continue to support the WI squad, during the good and bad times.
Khan was speaking on Monday, a day after the Jason Holder-captained team defeated Sri Lanka by 226 runs in the First Test, of a three-Test series, at the Queen’s Park Oval, St Clair.
Khan, who is the current manager of CPL (Caribbean Premier League) franchise team Guyana Amazon Warriors, continued, “We must always remember we’re in a rebuilding stage. Yes, there may be issues with the administration but, at the end of the day, we need to keep supporting our West Indian cricketers.”
Reflecting on the First Test, Khan was impressed by knocks from eventual Man-of-the-Match Shane Dowrich, who hit a Test-best 125 not out in the first innings, and Kieran Powell, who made 88 in the second innings.
He was also pleased with work done by the bowlers, who dismissed the visitors for 185 and 226 in their respective innings.
“It was a very good sign to see Dowrich really applying himself. I think there were two critical moments in the game. The (101-run seventh-wicket) partnership with Dowrich and (Devendra) Bishoo, that partnership really dented the Sri Lankans’ hopes. And then Shannon Gabriel’s spell (on the) second afternoon, with pace and fire, psychologically left the Sri Lankans hurt.”
Khan added, “All round, it was good to see the West Indies team applying themselves and understanding what was required in terms of Test cricket. And it’s a sign that augurs well for the future.”
Khan does not see any changes to the starting XI for the Second Test, which will bowl off tomorrow at the Darren Sammy Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia.
“Initially I had thought that (Shimron) Hetmeyer would have been retained, Kieran Powell opening the batting and Devon Smith out,” said Khan. “But now they have given Devon Smith a chance, I don’t see them dropping him (too soon). Probably they’ll give him another run for the Second Test and see how he performs.”
In related news, the West Indies A team, captained by Jason Mohammed, and the B team, led by Anthony Bramble, will engage in month-long tours of England and Canada respectively.