Cricket: Guyana Test may be switched

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The Independent Online
England and the West Indies may have to consider switching the third Test in Guyana if the current unrest does not ease. A television station and England's hotel have been the targets of "two small bomb blasts" in a wave of anti-government protests. The Foreign Office have described the political climate as "tense and volatile", and advised Britons to travel to Georgetown only if necessary.

Richie Richardson, the former West Indies captain, believes Lara may begin to feel the backlash against the West Indies board's decision to relieve Courtney Walsh of his duties.

"The first Test is in Jamaica and Brian could be in for a hostile reception from the Sabina Park crowd, for whom Courtney is their hero," said Richardson, who led the West Indies against England in 1994.

"I feel sorry for Courtney and believe he should have been retained as captain."

For Richardson, Lara is wholly unsuitable to replace Walsh. "It's going to be very difficult for so controversial a character," he said. "Brian is taking over the the captaincy without necessarily having the total support of all the players. There are even those in his home country of Trinidad who have got doubts about him being appointed captain."

Walsh, 23 wickets away from Malcolm Marshall's West Indies record, has yet to decide if he will continue his Test career.

Yesterday, England tried to get on with business as usual after fleeing the tropical downpours in Antigua. They arrived five days ahead of schedule in Jamaica to find drier conditions, but yesterday's first full practice session could not get under way until their gear arrived from Antigua, having been left behind because the flight and baggage hold were full.