Rampaul back to '100% fitness'
Ravi Rampaul, the West Indies fast bowler who was out of action for two months due to knee trouble, has said he is "100% fit". He is targeting an international return in West Indies' home series against Zimbabwe, which begins in ten days' time, he said.
Rampaul will have the chance to prove his match fitness to the West Indies selectors when Trinidad & Tobago take on Windward Islands in their opening first-class game of the season from Friday.
"The four-day game is coming up, so I am focusing on that right now," Rampaul told the Trinidad and Tobago Express. "I am trying to give it all for my country, trying to get back to playing cricket and easing my way back into bowling. Hopefully I pick up some wickets and get back on the West Indies team for the Zimbabwe tour."
Rampaul had to skip January's Caribbean T20, in which T&T went on to successfully defend their title, after he was recommended rest following an MRI that revealed an issue with his knee. T&T manager Omar Khan had said then that Rampaul was being left out as a precaution, so as not to take the risk of him breaking down and being forced out of action for a longer period.
The rest did him good Rampaul said, as it also allowed him time to recover fully from a groin injury he picked up during West Indies' tour to Bangladesh in November-December. "Basically my knee was giving me some problems and then I had a groin injury coming out of the Bangladesh tour, those were the two injuries that were bothering me a bit. But both are healed 100% now, so that is a positive for me.
"I have been doing some work with trainer Ronald Rogers. We have been doing a lot of training and a lot of weight training. I just want to continue working hard."
Later, in April, Rampaul is set to travel to the IPL; he was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for US$290,000 at the 2013 auction earlier this month. He is looking forward to the experience, Rampaul said: "I was very happy to be bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore. Since the IPL started [in 2008], I always wanted to be part of it and I hope that I make good use of the opportunity."