Cricket: Fraser setting an example

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The Independent Online
Angus Fraser is keeping England's younger fast bowlers busy between the tropical rainstorms in Antigua. He has had Dean Headley, Chris Silverwood, Ashley Cowan and the more experienced Andy Caddick swimming out into the Caribbean, sprinting in shuttles and bowling on concrete roads to build up the necessary stamina to perform consistently in the West Indies.

But with the ground at the Caribbean Cricket Centre resembling the "Cowdenbeath goalmouth" in the words of the coach, David Lloyd, Fraser has devised his own fitness schedule to keep the bowlers sharp.

Lloyd is particularly pleased by Fraser's unselfish input as he himself is also competing for a place in the First Test in Jamaica, which starts on 29 January.

"Having Gus work with the bowlers has been brilliant. He's given an example from his experience," Lloyd said. "You have to put the work in because bowling fast out here is hard. You have to be fitter and do more work than the rest of the team because of the nature of the tour.

"Gus is a bloke who is a no-nonsense performer and dedicated to what he does. There are people who keep knowledge to themselves, and look after themselves. Gus is determined to play himself, but he's also happy to pass on his knowledge."

The England squad were given the day off yesterday as the rain lashed down at its hardest and longest since they arrived on Saturday. Ironically, the authorities were so concerned about the parched state of the ground last week that they pumped 45,000 gallons of water on to it, little knowing that Antigua's long drought was about to come to a dramatic end.

England have two days of nets booked for Sabina Park, Kingston - the venue for the opening Test - before going into their first match of the tour at Montego Bay on Friday week.

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