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News

Australia relieved at West Indies resolution

Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland has expressed his relief at the news West Indies will send a full-strength squad to Australia this month

Cricinfo staff
03-Nov-2009
The Sunday crowd enjoy themselves at the MCG, Australia v India, CB Series, 4th ODI, Melbourne, February 10, 2008

James Sutherland is expecting healthy crowd numbers after West Indies confirmed their best players would tour Australia  •  Getty Images

Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland has expressed his relief at the news West Indies will send a full-strength squad to Australia this month. A 15-man touring party has been announced and it includes the players who were on strike while involved in a pay dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board over the past few months.
Chris Gayle will lead the side for the three-Test series in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth before West Indies return for a one-day series in February. Cricket Australia had been watching on anxiously during the standoff between the players and the board, hoping that a second-string West Indies outfit would not be sent to take on Ricky Ponting's men.
"We've seen in recent times where a West Indies side has struggled against Bangladesh and others and I guess it's a great relief to know they're going to be full strength," Sutherland told AAP. "I'm sure they'll put up a really good performance this summer. I think they'll have a renewed spirit after coming back and having had a bit of time out of the game, it's a summer of cricket that we're really looking forward to."
Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan were among the frontline players who missed the home series against Bangladesh and the Champions Trophy. The former Queensland player Brendan Nash is also in the West Indies squad and will walk out for his first Tests in the country in which he was born.
The series begins at the Gabba on November 26 before moving on to Adelaide and Perth, and then Pakistan arrive for three Tests in Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart. Sutherland said Cricket Australia was confident that it would be a successful summer.
"What we can look forward to now is a fantastic atmosphere at matches," he said. "Those three Test matches against the West Indies - in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth - are always, no matter who's playing, great traditional events and people come from all over the state and even all over the country to attend those matches.
"So no matter who's playing there's a great element of tradition about these games, so we expect good crowds. But the fact now that the West Indies are full strength means that if there was any doubt, I think that's all removed now."