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South Africa target West Indies' whitewash

March 22, 2005 14:11 IST

South Africa coach Ray Jennings has targeted a 4-0 whitewash in the Test series against a West Indies side missing their captain Brian Lara and six other leading players because of a contract dispute.

The first Test starts on March 31 in Guyana but West Indies will be without Lara and vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan along with Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Fidel Edwards and Ravi Rampaul.

The dispute centres on a potential clash between the West Indies' main sponsor Digicel and the players' personal deals with Cable & Wireless.

"With or without their best players, I want wins in the Tests and one-day internationals. It's the most crucial series of my career. I'm looking for a whitewash," Jennings, who is looking to secure the coaching job on a permanent basis, was quoted as saying on the BBC on Monday.

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Africa fast bowler Shaun Pollock expects the situation to be resolved.

"I'm sure they'll work something out before the first Test," Pollock told Durban's Sunday Argus.

"The missing guys form the core of their side and it would be silly if they missed out. From a personal point of view, I would be disappointed if we didn't play against their strongest team."

The West Indies Cricket Board invited Lara on Friday to make himself available for the first Test having decided his contract situation was resolved and the Trinidadian said he would play if the other six players returned to the squad.

The WICB could not agree to this, however, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul is due to lead the team in Lara's absence.

The president of the West Indies Players' Association, Dinanath Ramnarine, criticised the board.

"It is clear that as soon as the players cross one hurdle, another is erected in its place, until we have reached the stage where the board has exposed itself as judge, jury and executioner," he said in a statement.

"The players and their careers, and the hopes and aspirations of Caribbean people, should not be made scapegoats in this issue.

"The WIPA wishes to strongly record its wholehearted support for the position which Mr Lara has taken in response to the board."

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