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Windies eves to play 5 ODIs in India

February 20, 2004 19:10 IST

After a long struggle, the Women's Cricket Association of India finally struck a deal with Asmi, a jewelry firm, to sponsor the team and the upcoming West Indies tour of India, from February 26 to March 12.

The teams will play a five-match one-day series.

WCAI secretary Shubhangi Kulkarni thanked television presenter Mandira Bedi for making this happen.

"It was because of the efforts of Mandira that today we have a sponsor for the team as well as for the series," Kulkarni said.

Bedi, co-anchor on SET MAX's Extraa Innings, which preceded and followed the matches aired on the 2003 World Cup television channel in India, said: "I am sure India will do well and hope the players play well, as this series is the start to our World Cup preparation."

The West Indies team, which will be led by Stephanie Power, will be visiting India after 28 years, their previous visit being in 1976.

As was the tradition that time, the series comprised only Test matches.

Five Tests were played and the series ended in a draw. Both teams won a Test each and the other three were drawn.

The Indian team is brimming with confidence following their 4-1 victory over World champions New Zealand at home in December.

Captain Mamatha Maben expressed confidence of the team doing well.

"Though the West Indies is not that strong we will not take victory for granted. We do not want to lose games from our hands as it happened in the [last] game against New Zealand," she said, referring to the Chennai game where New Zealand scored a last ball victory.

"There are plenty of areas which need improvement, like fielding, fitness and players' stamina. Now we have a physio and there is a check on our diet. So there will be quite a lot of improvement in the players' performance.

"Things are looking good. We have found a sponsor and now things will fall into place," she added.

The first match will be played at Dhanbad on February 26.

The itinerary:
February 26: First ODI, Dhanbad
February 29: Second ODI, Jamshedpur
March 3:  Third ODI, Kolkatta
March 10: Fourth ODI, Lucknow
March 12: Fifth ODI, Gurgaon
* All day matches.

The Teams:

Mamatha Maben (Capt.)
Mithali Raj (V. Capt)
Anju Jain
Anjum Chopra
Hemlata Kala
Jaya Sharma
Neetu David
Deepa Kulkarni
Nooshin Al Khader
Arundhati Kirkire
Jhoolan Goswami
Diana David
Karuna Jain
Sunetra Paranjpe
Coach: Sudha Shah
Manager: Trupti Bhattacharya
Physio: Vanilla

West Indies:
Stephanie Power (Capt.)
Nelly Williams
Juliana Nero
Genille Greaves
Candacy Adkins
Anisa Mohammed
Jacqueline Robinson
Doris Francis
Debbie Ann Lewis
Philippa Thomas
Indomatie Goordial
Nadine George
Verena Felicien
Envis Williams
Felicia Cummings
Coach: Ann Bowne John
Manager: Cinda Bobb
Physio: Neil Lashley.

Harini Rana