RICHARDSON’S FINAL BRISBANE, Australia (CMC): West Indies made a quiet arrival in the picturesque east coast city yesterday to begin preparation for their three-Test series against Australia staring next month. The squad, led by captain Jason Holder, arrived via New York and Los Angeles following two days of travel from the Caribbean. West Indies will train their attention first on a five-day camp at the Allan Border Field before taking on a young Cricket Australia XI in a four-day game starting Wednesday at the same venue. A significant presence in the squad is that of head coach Phil Simmons, who missed the recent Test and limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka through suspension. He was pulled from that tour by the West Indies Cricket Board after he bizarrely claimed in a media conference that the selection of the one-day squad had been influenced by “outside interference”. Simmons, appointed following the ICC World Cup earlier this year, subsequently apologised after appearing before the WICB’s human resources committee, and was promptly reinstated. The Trinidadian will be leading West Indies for the first time on an overseas tour after presiding over the home tours against England and Australia. While Simmons has returned, the series will mark the final one for Sir Richie Richardson in his five-year stint as team manager. The former West Indies captain and batting star is set to take up duties as an ICC match referee following the series. For the Caribbean side, the highlight of the series will be the Boxing Day second Test in Melbourne, as the tourists have not had the courtesy of being part of this historic fixture in 15 years. Several hundred West Indians, who reside in Australia, are expected to mark the Boxing Day Test with a mini-carnival. West Indies will play the opening Test in Hobart starting December 10 and the third Test in Sydney, starting in the New Year, and are expected to face a tough assignment against the powerful Aussies. Significantly, they have not won a Test Down Under in 18 years and have also not beaten Australia in a Test for 12 years. SQUAD: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite (vice-captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Rajindra Chandrika, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Jomel Warrican.
The Guinean government through its Embassy near Monrovia has provided what it translated as the latest information on the rising death toll from the Ebola virus that recently broke out in that West African state.Guinea Ambassador to Liberia, Elhaji Abdoulaye Doré, made the disclosure at a press conference on Friday when he spoke on “matters relating to the Ebola epidemic fever currently being battled by the regional health authorities.”According to Ambassador Doré, since the outbreak of the deadly disease a few weeks ago, with the virus having subsequently spread to Liberia, the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, (MOH/SW) in collaboration with its international partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and Médecins Sans Frontieres in the two countries have taken the contagion seriously.As to the number of deaths, the Guinean diplomat disclosed that up to Friday, April 4, 134 cases were reported in Guinea, and of those cases, 84 deaths were related to the Ebola fever. Four new suspected cases were notified in the forest region, three in Macenta against two reported in the Guéckédou near the Liberian border, close to Lofa County and to Conakry.He said four other cases were completely treated and the patients discharged on Thursday, April 3 from two hospitals in Conakry (Ratoma and Donka Hospitals.)Reading from statistics collected from Guinea, Ambassador Doré said that out of the 80 cases in Guéckédou, 58 deaths were recorded; in Macenta 26 cases, 14 deaths; in Kissidougou nine cases, five deaths; Conakry 15 cases, four deaths; Dabola three new cases, two deaths; and one case in Dinguiraye, from which one person died.For their combined efforts, the Guinean diplomat expressed gratitude to the respective leadership of those organizations, on behalf of his government.“In the interest of our people and countries, the best thing to do for now is to educate the general public about the danger of the disease. Having acknowledged that this is the most important aspect, we believe that prevention is the best approach to dealing with the epidemic,” the Guinean envoy opined.He said, since the outbreak of the disease, the Guinean government, through its Embassy near Monrovia, has been in regular consultations with her counterpart in Liberia, to acquire the most reliable updates on the situation.“We do not only call the Minister of Health in Liberia for updates on the situation in our country, but we also transmit to him documents received from Conakry as it relates to measures and evaluations on the current situations since the disease outbreak…where the situation has spread to, since its outbreak to date.”Ambassador Doré has meanwhile, disclosed that one special health center with a laboratory facility is being currently installed in Guéckédou where Liberians, Sierra Leoneans as well as Guineans are examined and treated for the “Ebola virus.” To further augment the strength of medical practitioners in Guinea to contain the spread of the virus, 27 medic specialists from across the world are being assigned to various regions in Guinea.The Ambassador expressed gratitude to the Liberian authorities for the “enthusiastic solidarity being put in place during the outbreak of the disease.”According to him, efforts by the Liberian authorities were clear evidence that Guinea and Liberia constitute one unified people, “because we share the same history, the same geography, and therefore, our people live together under the banners of the Mano River Union. We are therefore not surprised at the solidarity by Liberians because it is in times of trouble that one comes to know true friends. As such, prevention just might be the first major step to curing this pandemic.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)