The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Caribbean test for hopefuls

Bangalore: A bunch of hopefuls in Board President’s XI will try to impress the selectors in the three-day game against the West Indies starting Friday.

Late on Thursday night, The Telegraph learnt that young Parthiv Patel will keep wickets — more than anything else, this suggests the teenager has a very good chance of being the only wicketkeeper in the squad for the first two Tests against the West Indies. The selection will take place in Bangalore Saturday evening, adds Our Special Correspondent in Calcutta.

Nearly the entire Board squad comprises players who have been in and out of the national team or those who are knocking on its doors.

With not many slots up for grabs in the Indian team, there is likely to be a fierce competition. Under the focus are opener Gautam Gambhir and Sanjay Bangar, not to speak of captain Mohammed Kaif who is waiting for his chance in the Test sqaud after sealing a slot in one-dayers.

The Board XI can be called the national B team and West Indian coach Roger Harper is happy that his side is getting such a strong team ahead of a tough Test series.

“Players are excited about the fact that they will play a competitive team here before the first Test,” Harper said.

“Our aim is to get ready for the Test match and quickly acclimatise ourselves to the conditions in India,” he said.

Skipper Carl Hooper said he was trying to rebuild the team with some talented youngsters and the series against India was very crucial in this context.

“Our aim will be to turn a potentially good side into a very good side. We hope to take such steps in India,” Hooper said.

The West Indian captain, who will play his 100th Test in Mumbai, said his spinners will have a vital role to play in the team’s prospects in this series but felt that two spinners were “more than sufficient”.

WICB CEO sacked

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has sacked chief executive officer Gregory Shillingford, adds a report from St John’s. (PTI)

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