West Indies get down to business with warm up-tie

West Indian players at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata.

Kolkata, (IANS): Amid grand plans in India to give a memorable adieu to master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, the visiting West Indies cricket team would get a chance to adapt to the conditions and test themselves in match situations as they take on Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association XI in a three-dayer beginning on Thursday.

The Jadavpur University Ground game is the only warm up match for the Caribbeans during their month-long tour, during which they play two Tests and three One Day Internationals.

It would afford an opportunity for spinners Shane Shillingford and Veerasammy Permaul, who are making their maiden tour to India for the West Indies team, to get a grip of the conditions on what looks like a damp and slow surface.

However, most members of the squad are no stranger to India, as they have either come on West Indies tours or turned out in the cash-rich Indian Premier League.

With Tendulkar's retirement after the second Test at the Wankhede stadium already taking centre-stage, the West Indies team has already said it would not give "freebies" to the batting great, who has to earn every run.

"The Indians will not give us any freebies so why should we? Just because it is farewell series doesn't mean we will allow him to score hundreds. At the end of the day it's a competition and we have our own goals which we want to achieve," said captain Darren Sammy.

However, the local organisers' pre-occupation in thinking of novel ways to give a warm send off to Tendulkar caused some initial pains to the visitors, who had their first practice session at the Jadavpur university Ground only Wednesday. The soggy outfield - following rains Saturday and Sunday - had forced the Callypso charmers to tune up at Sourav Ganguly's academy Tuesday.

Wednesday, pacers Kemar Roach and Tino Best had long spells at the net, while batsman kirk Edwards - making a comeback to the West Indies team - batted for a long time. He was seen working in the nets even when his teammates had packed up.

The Piyush Chawla led Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association XI has a few veterans like ex India batsmen Mohammad Kaif and medium pacer RP Singh.

West Indian player Chris Gayle during practice sessions at Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata on Oct.30, 2013. (Photo: IANS)
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IANS | Photo by IANS
Wed 30 Oct, 2013 6:32 PM IST

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