Cricket: Walsh to captain the West Indies

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The Independent Online
COURTNEY WALSH, the Gloucestershire and Jamaica captain, was yesterday named to lead the West Indies on their tour to India later this year.

Walsh's elevation to a position he has held for his native Jamaica since 1991 and for Gloucestershire since Tony Wright's demise last year follows the unavailability, for contrasting reasons, of the incumbent Richie Richardson and his most recent deputy, Desmond Haynes. When both were also absent, through injury, Walsh captained the West Indies in the final Test against England in Antigua in April so does not come to the job unprepared.

Richardson has successfully led the West Indies in the 15 Tests since Viv Richards retired but has been ordered by his doctors to take a prolonged rest from the game because of 'acute fatigue syndrome' which prematurely ended his contract with Yorkshire last month.

Haynes, the 38-year-old opener who has been in Test cricket since 1978 opted out of the tour on his own account. He has reportedly taken up a contract to play provincial cricket in South Africa and has stated that he would not expect his place to be waiting for him if he wants to return. Even so he is keen to bow out on the tour of England next summer which would be a more appropriate end to an illustrious career.

Winston Benjamin will also miss the Indian tour, the bowler having been suspended until 31 December for abusing an official off the field during the final Test against England in April.