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Windies in camp

Ottis Gibson heading up camp in Barbados prior to heading off to England on Saturday.

Ottis Gibson heading up camp in Barbados prior to heading off to England on Saturday.

West Indies have started their preparations in a bid to capture the International Cricket Council’s Champions Trophy 2013 title with a one-week camp in Barbados.

Under head Coach Ottis Gibson the Windies will go through their drills at Sagicor High Performance Centre at the 3Ws Oval.

The camp started yesterday and will end on Friday. The team will then depart from Barbados on Saturday. They will have another camp in Cardiff, Wales from May 25 to June 2 as they try to get acclimatised to the foreign conditions.

Gibson has been at the helm for over three years and is confident the players will get maximum use of the five days of intense work. He also believes the team, to be led by Dwayne Bravo, has the right combination to capture the trophy for the second time.

Brian Lara’s team won the 2004 tournament, when they beat host England by two wickets in a memorable final at the Oval.

“We will have a week in Barbados where will we put in some hard work as well as look to do team building exercises,” Gibson said. “We will then leave for Cardiff where we will put in some more work and get ready for the tournament. It is a great opportunity for us. We have quite a few players who have played in England and Wales before.”

Gibson added: “The hardest thing will be to get used to the conditions early. But we have quite an experienced One-Day outfit at the moment, so once we get there and get acclimatised early we will be OK.

“We believe we can win these big tournaments, having recently done it in Sri Lanka when we played brilliantly to win the ICC World T20 Championship. So, this is something that we are really looking forward to. Getting acclimatised to the conditions early will be a huge factor.”

The ICC Champions Trophy, will feature eight teams: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies. The tournament will be played across three venues – Cardiff Wales Stadium, Edgbaston and The Oval – over 18 days in this action-packed event from June 6 to 23.

The Windies have been drawn in Group B alongside the Indians, the Pakistanis and the South Africans. They open against Pakistan on Friday, June 7 at the Oval and return to the famous venue on Tuesday, June 11 to take on India. The final preliminary match will be against the Proteas on Friday, June 14 in Cardiff.

“We understand what it will take for us to do well in England and we recognise we will have to be able to bat out the 50 overs, absorb the pressure and be able to catch up at the back end of our innings. We will need a lot of good efforts from the top order to get us in good positions and we believe we have the bowling attack to do very well in the English conditions,” Gibson said.

“We haven’t done all that well in the 50-over format recently and that is something we are trying to address. We had some success against Zimbabwe recently at home and that is certainly something that we can build on as we head to England.Allrounder Marlon Samuels, who returned home from the IPL in the last week of April with a groin injury, is back to full fitness and involved in the camp.” (windiescricket)

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