London: Joel Garner has warned against “writing the West Indies off too early” ahead of their upcoming Test series against England.
A three-match campaign starts with the first day/night Test ever staged in England, at Birmingham’s Edgbaston ground on Thursday.
England, fresh from a 3-1 win over South Africa in a four-Test home series, will start as huge favourites.
Not only have the West Indies lost their last six Test series, they have been beaten in 14 of their most recent Tests in England and drawn the other three.
But fast-bowling great Garner, now the West Indies team manager, said, “It’s going to be some interesting times. I think people are writing the West Indies off too early and it could be at their own peril.”
And with a fast-bowling attack led by Kemar Road and Shannon Gabriel, allied to a new work ethic being installed by Australian coach Stuart Law, Garner believes his side, who have played a day/night Test -- a hard-fought defeat by Pakistan in Dubai in October -- could yet upset the odds.
West Indies, however, have arrived in England without several star players including Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Marlon Samuels and Darren Sammy -- the legacy of a bitter dispute with West Indies cricket officials and the fact that the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 tournament is going on at home at the same time as the Test series.