Cricket: W Indies in spin over Ambrose

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The Independent Online
THE STATE of mental anguish that overcame the West Indies batsmen as they collapsed for 51 against Australia in the first Test on Monday has extended to their flustered administrators.

The two teams flew yesterday from Port-of-Spain to Kingston for the second Test starting on Saturday, less than an hour after the West Indies selectors confirmed whom they had picked and who would be travelling.

On Tuesday, TV and radio stations in the region carried 13 names that had been leaked by an unnamed source. Curtly Ambrose, reportedly suffering from a back injury and heading for New York for specialist treatment, was not among them. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, said to be fit again after missing the first Test with a damaged shoulder, was.

The official, belated version had it in reverse. The 35-year-old Ambrose was among the 13, Chanderpaul was not.

The West Indies Cricket Board statement revealed that Chanderpaul "has not fully recovered from his shoulder injury". Sources said that Ambrose's problem had been a sore knee that had been successfully treated at the Mount Hope Medical Centre in Trinidad on Tuesday.

In the meantime, the selectors finally gave up efforts to have the experienced Carl Hooper return in time from Adelaide where he has been with his Australian wife and their seriously ill new-born son since the end of the South African tour a month ago.

The infant's condition has improved and Hooper said he is awaiting a report from the doctor tomorrow before deciding on whether, and when, he will be able to return. The Board said it expected both Chanderpaul and Hooper to be available for selection for the third Test in Barbados from 26 to 30 March.

Chanderpaul would have taken the place of Roland Holder who strained ankle ligaments in the first Test. Instead, 20-year-old Daren Ganga, who played three Tests in the ill-fated whitewash series in South Africa, has been recalled.

Nehamiah Perry, the lanky 30-year-old Jamaican off-spinner, is included. In his 13th season of first-class cricket, he is likely to make his debut on his home patch of Sabina Park where the pitch has been relaid since last year's abandonment against England.

Sabina has assisted the spinners in the three domestic Busta Cup matches there this season, an encouraging piece of intelligence for Australia's two dangerous leg-spinners, Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill.Merv Dillon is the fast bowler to make way for Perry.

While speculation was rife over the Test team, the provisional West Indies 19 for the World Cup was first published on the "cricinfo" site on the Internet. It had been submitted to the organising committee by the WICB last week with the request that it not be released.

Eleven of the 19 will be over 30 when the tournament starts on 16 May, making it the oldest of the 12 squads. No captain has been named, with an announce-ment expected at a later date.

WEST INDIES TEST SQUAD: B C Lara (capt), S L Campbell, S Ragoonath, D Ganga, D R Joseph, L A Roberts, J C Adams, R D Jacobs, N O Perry, C E L Ambrose, C A Walsh, R D King and P T Collins.

PROVISIONAL WORLD CUP SQUAD: C E L Ambrose, K L T Arthurton, S Chanderpaul, C L Hooper, R D Jacobs, R D King, B C Lara, R N Lewis, N C McGarrell, J R Murray, H R Bryan, C B Lambert, P V Simmons, M Dillon, S C Williams, J C Adams, D R Joseph, S Ragoonath, C A Walsh.