Cricket: Richardson ordered to rest: West Indies players suffer 'burn-out'

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The Independent Online
RICHIE RICHARDSON, the West Indies captain, has been ordered by his doctors to rest for a month, barely a fortnight before England arrive in the Caribbean.

Richardson, who returned from the tours of Sharjah, India and Sri Lanka two weeks ago pleading for a rest for his over-worked fast bowlers Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh, is said to have a low blood count and a general feeling of tiredness and lethargy. It is a condition known in sporting circles as 'burn-out'.

It means that Richardson will miss the early matches for the Leeward Islands in the Red Stripe Cup, which starts on Friday. Ambrose is also likely to be rested on the request of the selectors although Walsh, named captain of Jamaica, reportedly intends to play.

The West Indies Cricket Board of Control has stipulated that selection against England is conditional on participation in the domestic competition except for illness, injury or 'exceptional circumstances'.

The West Indies played seven Tests and 31 one-day internationals in 23 towns and cities in six countries last year. In addition Richardson, Ambrose and Walsh, and several others, spent the summer months with English counties. Their most recent jaunt, lasting nearly two months, took them to the Middle East and Asia.

England have had no serious cricket since September, just training sessions at the National Sports Centre at Lilleshall and a relaxing week on the Algarve in Portugal.

These are encouraging developments for England. They have already been spared the prospect of dealing with the pace of Ian Bishop, who sustained a second stress fracture of the back last April and will not be fit enough to bowl again until the English summer.