Fit Samuels joins West Indies at CT preparatory camp
West Indies allrounder Marlon Samuels, who returned home from the IPL in the last week of April with a groin injury, is back to full fitness. Samuels joined his team-mates at West Indies' Champions Trophy preparatory camp, which started on Monday in Bridgetown, Barbados.
Following the Barbados camp, CMC reported, West Indies will fly to the UK, where they will have a second preparatory camp in Cardiff. In Barbados, West Indies are without some members of their Champions Trophy squad - including new ODI captain Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard and Jason Holder - who are competing in the closing stages of the IPL in India. They are also without batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan, who is currently playing for English county Leicestershire. The players at the IPL and Sarwan are expected to join their West Indies team-mates for the camp in Cardiff.
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson said getting acclimatised quickly is important. "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.
"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 okay."
West Indies also play two warm-up matches in the lead-up to the Champions Trophy, against Australia and Sri Lanka. They are placed in Group B for the tournament, alongside South Africa, India and Pakistan. Their opening game is against Pakistan on June 7.