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Vincentians get a bowl for West Indies

Vincentians get a bowl for West Indies

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by TONY COZIER in Brisbane

THERE WAS an odd assortment of West Indian bowlers wheeling their arms over in the nets at the team’s practice session at The Gabba yesterday, two days before the start of the first Test against Australia at the same ground.

In the absence of the local club players Cricket Australia undertook to organise, manager Tony Howard, journalist-broadcaster Fazeer Mohammed and the winners of sponsor Digicel’s prize trip to Australia, Vincentians Mousan Hoyte and Durick Child, were pressed into service alongside the accredited Test men. {{more}}

“We were expecting the usual turnout of local bowlers but none showed,” team media manager Imran Khan said. “We’re taking the matter up with Cricket Australia to find out what went wrong.

“Certainly there was no shortage prior to the match against Queensland last week and they proved very helpful,” he added.

“It was a setback to preparations but the coaching staff just had to get on without them – and with a little help from our friends.”

The standard operating procedure is that the host boards facilitate touring teams with reputable club bowlers on request. On this occasion, wires apparently got crossed, although a more sinister interpretation could be attributed to the no-show.

Howard, for several seasons Barbados’ leading off-spinner with one Test to his credit, is now 59 and confined to Over-40s club cricket. Mohammed, a left-arm spinner for Trinidad and Tobago in the regional Under-19 tournament in the early 1980s, plays only the occasional club match.

The credentials of Hoyte and Child are less well known. Judging by the way they threw down their offerings from 20 yards, bowling was not their speciality.

All are likely to find themselves a little stiff over the coming days. For Mohammed, a devout Muslim observing the fasting period of Ramadan, the effort would have been especially taxing.

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