The English cricket team
The England and Wales cricket team is a cricket team which represents England and Wales. Until 1992 it also represented Scotland. Since 1 January 1997 it has been governed by the England and Wales Cricket Board , having been previously governed by Marylebone Cricket Club from 1903 until the end...
toured the West Indies from 25 January 2009 until 3 April 2009. Initially, it was intended that they play four Test matches
Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...
, one Twenty20 International
A Twenty20 International is a form of cricket which is played over 20 overs per side between two national cricket teams. The game is played under the rules of Twenty20 cricket...
and five One Day Internationals against the West Indies cricket team. However, the abandonment of the Second Test due to the conditions of the field at the SVR Stadium in Antigua
Antigua , also known as Waladli, is an island in the West Indies, in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region, the main island of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua means "ancient" in Spanish and was named by Christopher Columbus after an icon in Seville Cathedral, Santa Maria de la...
led to the rapid inclusion of an additional game staged at the Antigua Recreation Ground, resulting in a five, rather than four match Test series. The West Indies regained the Wisden Trophy
The Wisden Trophy is awarded to the winner of the Test cricket series played between England and the West Indies. It was first awarded in 1963 to commemorate the hundredth edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Series are played in accordance with the International Cricket Council's future tours...
by winning the test series by one match to nil. They also won the Twenty20
Twenty20 is a form of cricket, originally introduced in England for professional inter-county competition by the England and Wales Cricket Board , in 2003. A Twenty20 game involves two teams, each has a single innings, batting for a maximum of 20 overs. Twenty20 cricket is also known as T20 cricket...
match, whilst England won the One Day International tournament by three matches to two.
Whether or not West Indies were the better side and deserved to win the series is debatable. Twice England were 2 or fewer wickets away from winning - though England could be accused of defensive captaincy which didn't given them sufficient time to bowl the West Indies out.
On some very flat wickets, only the Jamaica collapse could separate these two sides. England came in for some criticism from Sky commentators for being too defensive with their declarations but ultimately the pitches were not conducive enough to allow results.
Despite recent turmoils, England went into the series as firm favourite. The players claimed confidence, the ICC
The International Cricket Council is the international governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa, renamed the International Cricket Conference in 1965, and took up its current name in 1989.The...
rankings placed them comfortably ahead of their adversaries, and the pundits were, under the circumstances, fairly buoyant. In the Daily Telegraph
, Geoffrey Boycott
Geoffrey Boycott OBE is a former Yorkshire and England cricketer. In a prolific and sometimes controversial playing career from 1962 to 1986, Boycott established himself as one of England's most successful opening batsmen...
opined that, with a fit Andrew Flintoff
Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff MBE is a former English cricketer who played for Lancashire County Cricket Club, England and the Indian Premier League team Chennai Super Kings. A tall fast bowler, batsman and slip fielder, Flintoff according to the ICC rankings was consistently rated amongst the top...
, England ought to prevail easily:
I am not saying it will be a walkover. The one thing England do need is a fit Andrew Flintoff, throughout all the four Tests. If Freddie goes down injured, the odds for the series will turn around dramatically.
St Kitts and Nevis Invitation XI v England XI
First Class:West Indies A v England XI
Barbados Cricket Association President's XI v England XI
West Indies Players' Association XI v England XI