West Indies in England 2009
West Indies hope to catch England cold
John Dyson: 'They got caught being a little bit too complacent in the West Indies. I don't think they will be that complacent again' © Getty Images
Almost unnoticed, West Indies have slipped into England ahead of their Test and one-day tour. The eyes of the cricket world are currently trained on South Africa, so it is little surprise that the first tourists of the summer have barely turned heads as they prepare to face Leicestershire on Monday.
However, England have found out to their cost already this year that they are no longer a side to be underestimated. For the first time since they visited in 2000, West Indies will begin the series as holders of the Wisden Trophy following their 1-0 series win in the Caribbean. Their coach, John Dyson, hopes that England's minds will wander towards the Ashes challenge later in the season but believes they will learn from the mistakes they made on tour.
"I think we caught England on the hop in the West Indies. I think they came out thinking they were just going to have a net and just get ready for the Ashes," he said. "Hopefully they are still in that frame of mind and we might just catch them on the hop again. Who knows?
"They got caught being a little bit too complacent in the West Indies. I don't think they will be that complacent again. I think they will be out for revenge. It is our challenge to make sure that they don't get it in the return series over here."
This tour wasn't meant to be taking place with West Indies filling in for Zimbabwe, who don't have Test status, and Sri Lanka, who were the first replacements but pulled out after their key players demanded the opportunity to take up their IPL contracts. A similar situation nearly derailed West Indies with their IPL-bound players unhappy that this tour was scheduled after they had agreed their lucrative franchise contracts.
West Indies landed in London on Thursday without their captain, Chris Gayle, and leading fast bowler Fidel Edwards who, like a number of England players, will be in South Africa for the next two weeks before joining the tour shortly before the first Test, at Lord's, on May 6. Shortly after Dyson spoke at Grace Road, Edwards was bowling to Gayle as the Kolkata Knight Riders took on the Deccan Chargers in Cape Town.
Also missing is, Dwayne Bravo who wasn't deemed fit enough to withstand the rigours of two Tests following his ankle surgery that kept him out of the game for eight months. Instead, he is having an extended stay in the IPL before arriving for the one-dayers at the end of May.
Two other key players, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Jerome Taylor, have been given extra time at home to recover from injuries they collected during the previous series and will link up with the party in time for the second warm-up match against Essex. The absences will give a few of the new faces in the 17-man squad a chance against Leicestershire and as with England's team there are a couple of spots up for grabs.
Ryan Hinds has been dumped after failing to take his chance and Daren Powell's extended run of poor form has finally cost him his place. Nelon Pascal and Andrew Richardson, two untried quicks, are in the squad as is Dale Richards, the opening batsman, who missed out on a Test debut in Jamaica when he injured his foot on the eve of the game.