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"Don't write West Indies off"

SHOTS FIRED: Joel Garner

WEST INDIES cricket team manager Joel Garner has sounded a warning to England.

The two sides meet in the first Investec-sponsored Test at Edgbaston this Thursday, August 17 and Garner has backed his side to cause an upset.

“Cricket is played in the middle. It’s about which team can adjust the quickest to the day-night format.

“Games between the England and the West Indies are competitive. Don’t write West Indies off. Not many people are giving us a lot of hope. People are writing West Indies off too early, and it could be at their own peril. I think the fellas have got talent.”

A West Indies win in the country’s first day-night Test would provide a fillip for the Caribbean outfit’s new management triumvirate of director of cricket Jimmy Adams, coach Stuart Law and chief executive Johnny Grave.

Garner, who played 58 Tests and 98 one day internationals from 1977 to 1987 and was an integral member of the West Indies team that won the World Cup in 1979, is of the opinion that Windies have a fast bowling spearhead in Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel that will keep their opponents on their toes.

“It’s going to be interesting times,” said a man who was dubbed ‘Big Bird’ during his pomp and who shared a dressing room with bowling legends such as Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Courtney Walsh and the late Malcolm Marshall.

Garner took 259 Test wickets during a glorious career and was often on the winning side when he played against England. However, recent history is against Garner’s men. The West Indies’ record against England is woeful. They have not won a Test series on these shores for 29 years and 17 years since they won a Test.

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