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Monday, September 7, 2009

West Indies will play hard - Reifer

West Indies' embattled Cham-pions Trophy squad left here Saturday for South Africa to beef up their preparations for international cricket's mini World Cup.

Minus its leading players due to the raging impasse between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the players' union, the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA), the squad flew out of the Grantley Adams International Airport in the late afternoon.

They leave behind a firestorm, with the bitter contracts dispute that led to their selection for the September 22 to October 5 tournament, still dragging on despite attempts aimed at ending it.

The squad, which contains players with precious little international experience, has been given little chance of emerging from the tough group stage.

Make the region proud

Captain Floyd Reifer, however, told reporters the team would be aiming to make the region proud with its performances.

"All eyes will be on the West Indies but we are going to go out there and play for the six million people of the Caribbean," said the veteran Barbados batsman who has played just six Tests, two of them coming against Bangladesh in July."These people love cricket, they love West Indies cricket and we are going to go out there and play for those people. We don't have to prove a point to everybody in the world, we're just going to go out there and play hard for the people of the Caribbean."

West Indies, coming off a week-long training camp at Kensington Oval here, are scheduled to arrive in South Africa today and will undergo another training camp in Potchefstroom until September 16.

They will then play two warm-up matches, first against hosts South Africa on September 18 before clashing with Sri Lanka two days later.

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