Test Series up for grabs – England v West Indies
International cricket got back under way this week as England and the West Indies lock horns for the Wisdon Trophy, currently held by the visitors. We caught up with Barrow’s Liam Livingstone and former Barrow CC professional Rawl Lewis, who is the current Windies team manger.
Speaking before the start of the series, Liam was confident England would come out on top.
“I think England will win quite comfortably as they have become a difficult side to beat in home conditions. Spin will play a big part in the series with games at Southampton and Old Trafford, so it will be interesting if they stick with one spinner or try and include a second one at some time. A lot of this will depend on Ben Stokes, as he gives the side great balance, and is the key player for England. Ones to watch out for in the WI Side; Rahkeem Cornwall. If he plays Cornwall will surprise a few, he’s a very consistent bowler and tough to face if it spins. He bowls quickly and very accurate! Another to look out for is Oshane Thomas, he has a real yard of pace on him. I played with him at Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League and when he’s on it he is as quick as anyone!
It’s great to see Rawl back over here, he was a big influence on me when I was at Barrow as like me he was a leg spin bowler, and was always willing to help me and offer advice. He’s a top bloke and have kept in touch with him over the years. Personally it’s been nice to get back into cricket. We’ve been training three days a week now so we’re looking forward to starting competitive cricket, whenever that may be. “
Since speaking with Liam he has been called up into a 24 strong England ODI squad.
Not surprisingly Rawl wasn’t as convinced as Liam that it would be that one sided!
“The lads have prepared very well for this series, both physically and mentally. The boys are in good spirits and everyone is fully fit so we cant wait to get going” The West Indies have been based at Old Trafford as they prepared for the tour and have had full use of all the facilities there. ‘Its been strange as we have the hotel all to ourselves due to the current situation, we have the gym, indoor and outdoor nets plus we’ve even managed a net in the middle” “We’ve created a real family feel to the squad with us all being together, and that was really obvious on the bus trip down to Southampton. I think it will be a really tight series” “Our side is well balanced, a solid bowling attack lead by Jason Holder who is a genuine top class all-rounder. Young Brathwaite is developing well as a top order batsman, and we have the fire power of Shannon Gabriel to lead the attack” (As a side note, Gabriel was all but signed as the Barrow professional until he had a the call up for the WI a few years ago). He added “It’s great to see Liam doing so well, you could see from an early age he really had a lot of talent, add that to all the hard work he’s put in it’s no surprise he’s succeeded”