Sport

Ramdin embraces captain's role, buoyed by support of all

BY SANJAY MYERS Observer staff reporter

Saturday, June 07, 2014    

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DENESH Ramdin, entering his first Test series as captain, said he is pleased with the level of support he has received since taking over the reins from Darren Sammy.

"So far I'm really happy I got the opportunity. Most importantly, I've got support from the (West Indies Cricket) Board, the selectors, the management staff and all the players have welcomed me," Ramdin told the Jamaica Observer moments after arriving with the regional squad at the Norman Manley International Airport on Wednesday.

The West Indies face New Zealand tomorrow at Sabina Park in Kingston in the opening Test of a three-match series.

The 29-year-old, a former West Indies Under-19 captain, has long been groomed to become skipper at the senior level.

For the buoyant Ramdin, becoming a West Indies player was a "fantastic", but this latest assignment, is an even "greater" accomplishment.

Despite noting the added pressure of leading the team, he said it is a welcome challenge.

"I'm looking forward to this series. Everyone has one common goal ... which is to go out there and give 100

per cent.

"As a young player, growing up, to play for West Indies was fantastic and now to captain is a lot greater achievement. A lot of pressure comes with it and I'm going to try and deal with it as best as possible and put the team first all the time," said the wicketkeeper/batsman.

With Dwayne Bravo out injured and Sammy recently announcing his retirement from Test cricket, the West Indies squad appears short of an all-rounder.

Ramdin believes the towering Barbadian Jason Holder could fill the breach.

"I would say so (we lack an all-rounder), but we have young Jason Holder in the squad and he's considered an all-rounder as well. So if he gets an opportunity come June 8, I believe he has the ability with the ball to get wickets and score close to 50 or 60 runs down the lower order."

The second Test match is scheduled for the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad & Tobago from June 16-20.

The third Test, which was recently moved from the National Stadium in Guyana to the Kensington Oval in Barbados, will run from June 26-30.

West Indies squad -- Denesh Ramdin (capt), Christopher Gayle, Kieran Powell, Kirk Edwards,

Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn, Kemar Roach, Shane Shillingford, Shannon Gabriel, Kraigg Brathwaite, Marlon Samuels, Jason Holder.

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