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Yes, West Indies can! - Caribbean team will win the series
I BELIEVE this Test series between West Indies and England will be very crucial to the future of the game in the Caribbean.
After promising much for the last year, I believe this series can be the turning point for the West Indies team and West Indies cricket and I hope the players are all fully aware of this.
We all know that England have a number of gifted players, but they enter the series in a bit of turmoil, following the dismissal of their coach Peter Moores and the resignation of their captain Kevin Pietersen.
It's the right time
This could make them a little vulnerable and it would be a good time for the West Indies to strike another blow to their confidence.
So we have a series where the two teams will have a point to prove to themselves and to their fan base and sometimes desperation can lead people to extraordinary things. This is why I believe the Test series will be an engrossing contest.
Add the history that also abounds between the two sides and some of the famous results the two teams have shared in Tests and you have the ingredients for an absorbing battle.
I look forward to seeing how well our captain Chris Gayle performs. He's got a wonderful amount of talent, although he has come up short in the past, where consistency is concerned.
But if he can continue from where he left off in New Zealand, get your tickets and go to the matches because you may miss something brilliant.
I also expect Ramnaresh Sarwan to deliver the goods after a not-so-thrilling series for him in New Zealand and we cannot rule out the World Cricketer of the Year himself, Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
But it is important for the other batsmen in the side to give support to these three and make life a lot more difficult for England. It is now time for them all to justify the selectors' faith in them and also to fulfil so much of their rich, natural talent.
In the bowling department, Fidel Edwards, once he remains fit and focused on the job, could be a weapon of mass destruction for Gayle. I hope, for his sake, that the curators at the grounds throughout the Caribbean will produce pitches that would give a bowler like him a bit of assistance.
Don't mind that England, too, have a mean fast-bowling attack with Steve Harmison, Andrew Flintoff, James Anderson, Chris Broad and Ryan Sidebottom. Our bowlers need all the help they can get and this means we need to see pitches that will make the matches more competitive, if not one-sided.
When you look at the success West Indies used to have in the past, it is fair to say that things have been quite bleak in our cricket. With some of the situations that are taking place around the globe, we have got to get on-board and demand performance from our players.
Top tier of world cricket
West Indies should be in the top tier of world cricket with some of the other great teams and this is not happening. There must be a concerted effort or else we are going to be threatened where the future of the game is concerned.
People want to be associated with success and the crowds are missing at present because there is no passion shown by our players for the game and trying to pull West Indies up from the bottom.
Hopefully, this series can be the genesis of the rebirth of Windies cricket, as we all remember almost six decades ago when we came of age with that famous Test series win in England when the likes the Three Ws (Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes, Frank Worrell), Sonny Ramadhin and Alf Valentine ushered in a new era. I believe there is some light at the end of the tunnel and I am going to predict that West Indies will win this series.
Throughout the series, you will see me and hear me urging you all to 'Know Your Boundaries'. I am delighted to be leading Johnnie Walker's responsible drinking campaign again. We have changed our focus slightly to tackle the issue of drunk driving. Johnnie Walker and I recognise that drunk driving is a challenge in the Caribbean and we want to raise awareness about the issue.
The campaign will encourage people to think about safe ways to get home such as using a designated driverd after having a few drinks, as I know many do when they attend international matches in the Caribbean.
Sir Vivian Righards is a responsible drinking ambassador for Johnnie Walker's Know Your Boundaries campaign and reminds everyone not to drink and drive, but to plan ahead and use a designated driver to get home safely.