With ten minutes to do, we gaze at a statue of the noble Sir Viv. Do send me your thoughts on cricket and life this chilly afternoon. Meanwhile, Daren Sammy the West Indies white ball coach, gives credit to the groundsman: “It looks like a really good wicket, normally here there are some ridges, but what I’ve told my men is that we play accordingly. Yes we want to play a brand of cricket, but we can only play a brand of cricket that the surface allows.”
Simon Burnton is our man at the ground, and he spoke to Will Jacks about his hopes for the series.
We see a little video package with Jos Buttler – he looks a different man to the haunted figure who floated wan and disorientated around India.
West Indies: Brandon King, Alick Athanaze, Keacy Carty, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Yannic Cariah, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Oshane Thomas.
Shai Hope would have bowled first, and Ottis Gibson says to expect moisture in the wicket early on.
England: Jacks, Salt, Crawley, Duckett, Brook, Buttler (c, wk), Livingstone, S Curran, Carse, Ahmed, Atkinson.
To the background of palm trees, Buttler calls heads, and heads it is. “We want to make first use of it with the bat,” he says. “Experience and exposure” for the new boys and he is keen to play “our brand of cricket” and – “get on the front foot.”
In the UK coverage is on TNT sport, and we’re in the studio with Kate Mason, and an intense looking Alastair Cook and Ottis Gisbon.
Good afternoon from a chilly, snow in shady corners, Manchester. Back a time zone or four, England’s B-string side – or in Jos Buttler’s words “a new beginning” – are raring to go for a three-match ODI series at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium, Antigua.
Only six players remain from the disastrous World Cup campaign, Butler, plus Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Gus Atkinson and Brydon Carse. West Indies, who went one worse than England and didn’t even make the World Cup, are led by Shai Hope.
Five T20s follow before Christmas. Play starts at 1.30 GMT. Join us!