January 2005

West Indian players relax with families and a few snakes

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Sunshine Coast Daily, January 2005


News Source: Sunshine Coast Daily, page 7, Monday 17th January 2005
By: Kerryn Fraser

The glory days of West Indian cricket may be a thing of the past but the players can usually manage to pull a crowd when they step out in public.

And it was no different when the West Indies cricket team visited Australia Zoo yesterday, with a wombat, koala, two Burmese Pythons, two dingoes and a goat fighting press photographers for the player’s attention.

After a shattering 116 run defeat in Friday’s opening match of the trination VB Series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, team spokesman Imran Khan (no, not the Pakistani cricketer) said the players were taking a breather before heading back to Brisbane to take on Pakistan on Wednesday.

As captain Brian Lara and team mates Chris Gayle, 25, and Wavell Hinds, 27, made friends with all 13kg of Jake the Snake, Mr Kahn said yesterday was both the first day the team had had off in months and the last chance the players would have to relax before a busy week of training.

“They’ll be training on Monday and Tuesday, play Pakistan Wednesday night at The Gabba, training Thursday and then play Australia on Friday,” Mr Khan said.

After all that, the Windies will continue on to Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.

While most players were not speaking to the media yesterday, fast bowler Reon King told the Daily that team members were enjoying the chance to meet some Australian native animals and spend time with family and friends.

“It’s been good to come here to the zoo and see the animals we are not used to,” King said. “We’re really enjoying it.”

Despite the team’s crushing loss to Australia on Friday, King remaining optimistic. “It wasn’t the best … but there’s a lot of matches to go yet,” he said.