DHAKA – The West Indies cricket team arrived in Dhaka this morning to play two Tests, five one-day internationals and a T20 international.
Captain Darren Sammy’s team begin with a three-day practice match against a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI from Thursday.
The first Test begins on November 13 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur before the second Test in Khulna at the 12,000-capacity Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium which will become the country’s seventh Test venue a week later.
The first two ODIs will also be played on November 29 and December 1 at the same venue in Khulna.
The remaining three ODIs are in Dhaka on December 5, 7 and 8. The lone Twenty20 game will be held on December 10 in the capital.
Moments after the team touched down this morning team manager Richie Richardson told reporters the West Indies had a long way to go if they were to return to the top of world cricket, despite their recent success in the World Twenty20.
“We’ve been seeing improvement in all areas of our game in last 12 months or so. We are continuing to work hard, not going to take anything for granted,” the former West Indies captain said.
“We see a long way to go in order to bring West Indies cricket back to the top. We all know, the world knows, we are capable of being the world champions again. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to get back to the top,” Richardson added.
The West Indies are virtually at full strength especially with the return of dominant opening batsman Chris Gayle who has resolved his differences with the West Indies Cricket Board and played a significant role in helping to win last month’s World Twenty20 tournament.
“We have now Chris Gayle back,” said Richardson.
“Gayle, as we know, is probably the world’s most destructive batman in any format. We are feeling very confident, very positive that we will have a successful trip here in Bangladesh,” he added.
West Indies have toured Bangladesh for a full series twice, in 2002 and 2011.
Gayle was not part of the team during last year’s tour but the likes of Marlon Samuels, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo and Devendra Bishoo starred in the 1-0 and 2-1 wins in the Test and ODI series.
Coach Ottis Gibson has already emphasised the importance of the Test series by saying he wants the team’s ranking to climb to fifth. Currently they are at No. 7, above New Zealand and bottom-placed Bangladesh.
The tourists will be without fast bowler Kemar Roach who suffered a knee injury during a club game in Barbados and had to pull out. He has been replaced by Fidel Edwards.