How To Take Care Of Your Soccer Cleats

If you take good care of your soccer cleats, they will take care of you in return. In other words, cleaning your shoes will make them last longer. The first thing you need to do after buying your pair of shoes is to polish them. Often, the soccer cleats are made from leather. Here is a rundown of a few tips that can help you with the upkeep of your shoes.

What You need to Do

  • After each play, don't forget to clean your cleats in order to remove dirt from the leather. Dirt can absorb moisture from the shoes. As a result, your shoes will dry out quickly.
  • After a rain, if your shoes get wet, put a newspaper inside each shoe for absorbing the excess water. This will prevent your shoes from getting over-stretched and losing shape. If your shoes dry out, polish them. This will protect the leather.
  • Use a breathable bag to store your shoes in. it should have holes in it. Make sure you don't use a sealed bag.
  • For softening or conditioning the leather of your cleats, we recommend that you use mink oil or leather food. You can buy these products from your local market.

What You Should Not Do

  • Don't put your cleats near a dryer or a heater or you may get cracks on the leather. This is very important!
  • If you are going to walk on a hard surface, such as roads for a long walk, don't wear your leather shoes. Doing so will wear down your shoes pretty quickly. You may also slip on the hard surface and get injured.
  • Avoid using products, such as silicone or wax for polishing your shoes.
  • Similarly, don't go for soaps and similar cleaning products for washing your cleats. You can use water and a piece of washcloth instead.
  • Your cleats won't dry out in sealed bags. So, don't put them in this type of bags. Moreover, the sweat from your feet may also make the cleats wet. After each play, make sure you put them in a place where they can dry out a bit.

Kangaroo Leather

Some salient features of Kangaroo leather is that it is lightweight and feels better. Moreover, Kangaroo leather can get the shape of your feet making you feel a lot better.

The downside is that kangaroo leather is not as durable as other types of leather. Hence, it won't last as long. So, based on these features, you can decide whether you should go for this leather type or not.

Long story short, if you want to buy a good pair of soccer cleats, you will need to spend at least $ 100 or more. Therefore, we highly recommend that you take due care of your cleats or you will have to buy another pair before long. Taking good care of them will make them last for several years. Hopefully, now, you will be in a better position to take care of your shoes.

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How to Kill Depression Before It Kills You

Depression kills.

Sadly, these people did not live to tell of its horrors – 16,467, aged between 45 and 85 +, almost half of the total deaths by suicide, across all ages, in the US in 2014, making it the country's 10th leading cause of deaths .

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention believes the figure could be higher if some families were not hesitant or reluctant to report a suicide in the family. Already traumatized by the loss of a loved one, they did not want to be stigmatized as a family of loonies.

What drve them to end their lives? Mostly depression.

What makes it sad is that depression can be cured. What makes these deaths tragic and unnecessary is that depression usually starts from harmless "blues" we all experience in any given day. For failure to plug a leak, a deluge was created.

They did not recognize it coming or too complacent until things have gotten way over their heads. By then, they thought blowing their heads off was the only way out of their misery ..

Can it happen to you? Will you become a part of this morbid statistic?

It depends on how you value life; on how you cherish your family who will grieve over your death, on how strong is your belief that no matter how bad things are, they will soon pass; that the storm ravaging you now will soon be pushed away by sunbeams that will fill your heart and soul with joy.

It depends on your awareness that you are not alone. That somewhere, right now, others are also suffering as you are.

They, too, are:

o Feeling sad or low;

o Suffering from loss of interest in activities that normally enjoy doing;

o Having eating problems, losing or gaining weight for no apparent reason;

o Having problems sleeping or not wanting to get up;

o Feeling tired or lethargic;

o Restless (hand-wringing or pacing); slow in movement and speech;

o Having concentration problems or making decisions

o Thinking of committing suicide.

We all feel these things every now and then. Normally they will pass in a matter of days or a couple of weeks. They usually go away after a good sleep, a hearty meal, a good conversation with family or friends, or a change in scenery.

If they do not, then do your darndest best to kill them before they kill you.

DIY Tools to Kill Depression:

It's normal to feel down once in a while. It is not because of age but because our lives have become so routinary, so boring – like a hamster spinning in its wheel.

It is because we are so self-obsessed, forgetting that there is a whole wide world out there to learn, explore, experience, and conquer.

Depressive behavior is fed by your own thoughts, which puts imaginary barriers around you, making you see nothing but four walls closing in around you every day until it becomes a prison.

For some, breaking free from that prison is difficult, even impossible.

Those who did, did so by simply discarding their own self-destructive thoughts; they simply unshackled from themselves from the chains of their own making.

I did it by picking the lock of my harmful thoughts using these simple DIY tools. You can use them, too

1. Do a Forrest Gump:

Remember the movie Forrest Gump? The movie revolved around Forrest, sitting on bench while waiting for a bus, and telling his story to anyone and everyone who came along to sit next him.

Kind of stupid, but is an easy and cheap way of killing depressing thoughts.

My late Mom was a Forrest Gump, sort of. She visited me each time she felt the world crushing her in. The moment she got settled she immediately rattled off her problems, like a machine gun, while I just sat there listening to her.

When she was winding down, I offered her snacks. It immediately changed her mood, and set her off doting on my children (my daughter was her favorite).

Find someone you can be a Forrest Gump to. I am, to my daughter-in-law. It works all the time.

But you can not do it all the time. Your sounding board may not be around when you need them, or you may bore them to death or, anger, infect them. Depression is as infectious as a virus.

So you need other tools to kill it …

2. Visit or call a friend who can pull you up:

Not just any friend. But someone who can pull you up, not press you down.

Avoid a friend who will make your innermost fears and insecurities become a part of the neighborhood's breaking news the following day.

Keep away from a friend who will casually brush with an "it will just pass," comment without helping you make it pass, or one who will cut you short by saying, "your problems are nothing compared to mine."

Call or visit a friend who is interested to know how you made your garden the envy of your neighbors, or who wants to listen to your collection of love songs, circa Romeo and

Juliet, or who wants to leaf through your book of cloth-bound books; someone who wants to cuddle your new-born grandchild.

A friend who finds value in you and knows how to take your thoughts off yourself and shunt them somewhere else.

3. Take a hike of discovery:

Go to the beach and take a dip, or just walk along the shore, barefoot, and feel the sand tickle the soles of your feet; pick up sea shells or bits of corals and ponder on the genius who sculpted them into such spectacular shapes and forms.

Then face the horizon and, with arms outstretched, fill your lungs with the salty breeze until it's about to burst, slowly exhale through your mouth and say, "God, life is good." I am so blessed to be alive. "

If the beach is not your cup of tea, try the park.

Find a bench in the cool corner of your town park, under the shade of a giant tree, and fill your senses with the sights, sounds, smells around you.

For a moment be mindful.

Empty your mind of everything and delight in being on a tiny piece of earth where everything has a purpose – from the tiny ants scurrying about with bits of food between its pinchers, to the grasshoppers nibbling a blade of grass, to the butterflies and bees flitting from flower to flower, to the squirrels clambering up and down trees storing nuts, to the fallen leaves around your feet, to the tree under which shade you saved refuge, and YOU.

Together, you combine the delay balance of Nature, of Life. Remove one and you offset the balance.

For a clincher, be a child again .

Take the swing, or ride the Ferris wheel, the merry-go-round, or throw Frisbees.

Never think, even for a moment, that these are for children. No matter how old we are, a certain part of us, buried under tons of adult things, remains a child.

Bring it out and be a child again. Have fun; laugh. You might save yourself.

About a month ago, I tried the hoverboard and the merry-go-round just for the heck of it. I looked silly (and almost twisted an ankle) but I did not give a hoot what others thought. I had fun and that's all that mattered

4. Do not be afraid to seek professional help:

If, after having taken all the Paracetamols you can lay your hands on, you still have the colds, see a doctor before you get pneumonia.

Depression is either "from the mind" or "in the mind."

The above tools work well for the "from the mind" type, but can not do much if it is "in the mind."

If your depression lasts for long periods of time, say months or years, then that falls under the worrisome category of Mental Illness, and close relative of anxiety, bipolar disorder (this drave Robin Williams to commit suicide), schizophrenia and many others.

It is "worrisome," not hopelessly disastrous because modern science has the tools to help out, or cope with them. Provided you nip it in the bud.

So if you have been seeing blue for a long, long time, seek professional help to clear it out.

Shortly after my wife died, I went into depression. My daughter, who is a doctor, took me to one of her doctor friends. After the usual series of questions, he prescribed me some anti-depressants which I was to take twice daily for two months.

As a good patient, I bought them despite their being depressively expensive and started taking them. After a couple of days, out of curiosity, I surfed for anti-depressants and their side-effects.

To my horror, I found out that some anti-depressants can cause erectile dysfunction. "Oh, God! I can not allow more sorrow upon my sorrows," I said to myself.

I stopped taking it and started tinkering with my thoughts to take them off my painful loss. That's how I came upon these. They can help you, too.

The Art of Defence

Defence is an art that the best coaches in the world consider more important than any other aspect of the game. Covering positions, making timely tackles and even springing the offside trap well is key to stopping teams from scoring. After all, what good is a team that can’t defend a 2 or 3 goal lead even.

It was the Italians who decided to take it upon themselves to make defence an art-form, moving away from the physical aspect of defending and bringing in technical prowess. Until the Italians brought finesse into the picture, defending was all about out-muscling the opposition and crunching tackles.

It was the capability to constrict space and restrict movement that led to the rise of the Catenaccio style of play.

HELENIO HERRERA

Not many may remember his name but Helenio Herrera was a French-Argentine player and, later, manager who was one of the biggest names in football coaching during the mid-20th century. Having played for teams like RC Casablanca and Stade Francais, Herrera retired from club football in 1945.

Herrera took up coaching and moved to Spain, where he became the team manager for Real Valladolid, Atletico Madrid, CD Malaga and even the likes of FC Barcelona. It was after his stint for Barcelona, in 1960, that Herrera moved to Inter Milan.

THE RISE OF THE CATENACCIO

It was during his stay at Inter Milan that Herrera decided to modify the way his team defended. He shifted to a 5-3-2 formation to improve his counter attacking style of play. A firm believer in hard work and strong work ethics, Herrera was known as the pioneer of psychological motivational techniques including team pep-talks.

Herrera also introduced the no-smoking & -drinking policy as well as controlling the diet of his players to make them true professionals. Herrera was also known to suspend a player for telling the media, during a press conference, «We came to play in Rome» instead of «We came to win in Rome».

A hard man, Herrera was slightly defensive in his playing style although his form of the Catenaccio was not as defensive as some the future mutations of the formation, when applied by Italian architects.

One of Herrera’s full-backs, the great Giacinto Facchetti, was testimony to the attacking style of Herrera’s Catenaccio that prevailed in that Inter Milan team. The team was built around the defence, with its main role being to absorb the pressure from the opposition before launching lightning-quick counter attacks.

Using his wing backs to overlap the midfield, Herrera completely transformed the way the world looked at attacking football. Not giving away too much at the back, the team became famous for squeezing out 1-0 wins, leading to the nickname Verrou, meaning «Door Bolt».

HERRERA’S LEGACY

Known as «Herrera’s Inter», the team would go on to win the 1963, 65 & 66 league titles, the 1964 & 65 European Champions Cup as well as the Intercontinental cup in both those seasons. Herrera also became the first coach to go on and coach three separate national teams, ending his career with a 48.57% winning record.

In his 908 games as a manager, which included teams like Inter Milan, AS Roma, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and CF Os Belenenses, Herrera lost just 241 games while drawing 226. In his 12-club coaching career, Herrera ended with a negative goal difference only three times – with Real Valladolid (-21), AS Roma (-1) and Rimini (-22). Each team was too weak at the time although Herrera did transform Roma into a championship winning team, getting the 1969 Italian Cup with a sub-standard line-up and his famous Catenaccio style of football.

THE «DOOR BOLT»

Unlike popular conception, the Catenaccio was not built to shut out opposition. The entire concept of play was to allow the opposition to attack, relentlessly even, before suddenly attacking on the counter. The team would play with five at the back, in a «V-shaped» formation, with the Libero or sweeper at the centre. As the opponents entered the «V», their attack would be narrowed down, restricting movement and space.

Once the ball changed possession, the defending team had a wingback on either side, already ahead of the advancing opposition’s midfield. That meant that the team could now push out, rapidly, by playing the ball out to these wingbacks, who would have loads of space to exploit.

EARLY MUTATIONS

While the Catenaccio was, itself, a mutation of the 5-4-1 system invented by Karl Rappan for the Swiss national team, the formation underwent a lot of transformation itself. Teams reverted to the original «Rappan-style» by playing the sweeper just in front of the goalkeeper and stationing a flat back-four in front.

Nereo Rocco, coach of Calcio Padova in the 1950s, was another who exploited the system. With three-flat defenders who man-marked the opposition, Rocco would play a playmaker in the middle, just ahead of the defence, alongside two wingers. While these three weren’t the actual midfield, Rocco’s style would use the sweeper behind the central defence as well, to double-team the stronger players.

The midfield would be in front of these three, with a solitary striker up front, leading to a 1-3-3-3 formation.

While Herrera also focussed on man-marking with four of his defenders, his defence was flexible in that it swung from right or left to make it a flat line on most times. This meant that four defenders, aid by the midfield, would effectively man-mark the opposition, which had already been herded through the middle. That left the remaining fifth defender – always a wingback, free to make runs on the counter.

ENFORCED DOWNFALL

Catenaccio had become the flavour of the month, in the 60s and 70s, catching the fancy of every coach on the world scene. However, it was one man who’s style of play brought Catenaccio to its knees – Rinus Michels.

When faced with the tight man-marking of the Catenaccio, Michels decided to remove the whole concept of playing footballers in fixed positions. He removed the boundaries that separated attackers, midfielders and defenders, teaching all his players to play in all positions. As attackers fell back to the midfield, or even defence, their man-markers were unable to leave their posts and follow in pursuit.

The fact that Michels had the crop of players that he did, to implement such a technique, was the only reason Total Football became a reality.

Catenaccio was no longer the primary choice anywhere as Total Football, or replicas of it, began dismantling defences with their speed and movement. Mediocre coaches, who followed rather than researched, were left with no choice but to fall to the wayside.

CATENACCIO MODIFICATIONS

Coaches who preached the Herrera principle looked to counter Total Football with a modification to the Catenaccio’s man-marking formula. The answer was quite simple, in theory – Zona Mista.

The Zona Mista was a concept that incorporated man-marking and zone-marking into one strong defensive strategy. While the concept still used the four man defence with the roaming sweeper, the difference was in the way the midfield and the fullbacks supported the defence.

The two central defenders, in the heart of the defence, would play zone-marking. The midfield would have a defensive midfielder, who was required to help out the defence by falling back. A central midfielder would play in front of the defensive midfielder while a winger (usually on the right flank), would support in attack.

Two strikers would play up front, one on the wide left, with one in the centre. The position of the wide striker was determined by the position of the winger – both being on opposite flanks. The winger would act as an additional striker while the wide striker would float in to make it a two-pronged attack.

When defending, the wide striker would come in to cover for the central midfielder as the latter would drop into a defensive position.

ZONA MISTA IN REAL LIFE

Italy – 1982

The most famous application of this formation was in the 1982 FIFA World Cup when Italy went into the tournament with this brand new style of football. Gaetano Scirea played the role of the sweeper to perfection while the attacking left back was a young 18-year old, who would later go on to become one of the greatest defenders of all time – Giuseppe Bergomi.

Gabriele Oriali played as the defensive midfielder, just in front of Fulvio Collovati and the man who stopped a young Diego Maradona – Claudio Gentile. Marco Tardelli played as the central midfielder while Bruno Conti was the creative genius behind Italy’s Zona Mista success.

While Antonio Cabrini played at the front wide position, it was Paolo Rossi who came into the main striker’s position.

Italy’s success led to an increased use of the Zona Mista although the application remained mostly in the Italian leagues. Teams, in Europe, found it hard to beat this fantastic combination of man- and zone-marking, keeping the Italians ahead of the rest. However, there was always the need of a great striker to take care of the few chances that this format would create – something that most teams lacked.

Italy – 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004

More recently, Cesare Maldini employed the Catenaccio form of play in Italy’s 1998 FIFA World Cup campaign. Needless to say, Italy played defensively, without creating too many waves, eventually getting kicked out in the Round of 16, through penalties. His successor, Giovanni Trapattoni, also employed the same tactics in the 2002 FIFA World Cup as well as in the 2004 European Championships.

In both cases, Italy failed to make any significant progress although Trapattoni would go on to prove his critics wrong by leading Portuguese side, Benfica to the league title.

Dino Zoff, whose team successfully used the Zona Mista in 1982, was the Italian coach in Euro 2000 when Italy went in with the same tactics. This time, Zoff managed to take the team to the finals of the tournament, losing to France through a Golden Goal.

Greece – 2004

Greece used the same format under Otto Rehhagel, at the 2004 European Championships, and successfully so. Greece won the title with numerous 1-0 wins through the knockout stages, all thanks to a heavily defensive style of play.

BAD PUBLICITY

The Catenaccio was often on the receiving end of criticism from the rest of Europe primarily due to the boring style of football that it promoted. The Italians were said to have made the game «unattractive» however practitioners of this form of football always had results to further their faith in the system.

In most cases, the reason behind the criticism was said to be the inability of most teams to break down such defences, especially in crucial European ties, leading to a loss or a draw that they could ill-afford.

THE MODERN DAY SCENARIO

Catenaccio is a dormant formation today. With both man-marking and the sweeper position going out of style, what with the faster pace and television coming into the picture, teams are rarely known to implement such a format today.

You may see the odd variation of this formation when weaker teams go up against stronger opposition however the success of the Catenaccio or the Zona Mista is largely dependent on the quality of the defenders and the wingbacks.

The more physical format of the Catenaccio finds few followers even in the technical format of the Italian league while other formations, such as the 4-1-2-1-2 (midfield diamond) and even the 4-3-2-1 (Christmas tree) formations can be attributed, albeit loosely, to the Catenaccio.

Teams that go down a man or more, are also known to exhibit similar playing patterns although the true form of Catenaccio remains buried under a pile of demands for attacking play.

MISUSE OF THE TERM

In today’s scenario, you often find commentators, even some pundits, refer to the Italian game as the Catenaccio style of football. The latest example was the game between Barcelona and Inter Milan, at Camp Nou, during the second leg of the 2009-10 UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

Unfortunately, Jose Mourinho’s tactics were nothing like the Catenaccio style, albeit defensive. Down to ten men, Inter simply held a lower midfield to aid their defence, nothing more. They did was what needed and even Barcelona, with all their firepower, couldn’t break through. It has to be said that while Mourinho knew exactly what he was doing, there was absolutely no connection with the Catenaccio style of defence.

Commentators, especially Englishman, are known to refer to the Italian defensive style of football as Catenaccio, irrespective of whether the team follows the format or not. Catenaccio has become synonymous with defensive play although few understand the true meaning of the term, sadly, even the pundits make mistakes.

At the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Italy were down to 10-men while playing Australia in the Round of 16. They defended heavily until a winner came in the form of a Francesco Totti penalty, late in the game. An English newspaper, «The Guardian», famously wrote, «The timidity of Italy’s approach had made it seem that Helenio Herrera, the high priest of Catenaccio, had taken possession of the soul of Marcello Lippi.»

What the reporter failed to notice was that 10-men Italy were playing in a 4-3-2 formation which was just a man short of the regular 4-4-2 that they had started with – Daniele De Rossi, the midfielder who was dismissed.

THE FINAL WORD

Like all good things, Catenaccio also had to come to an end. With its end, like with everything else, rose many new formats that are, till date, being practiced by coaches around the world. While the Catenaccio may have been laid to rest with the modern day television’s demand for exciting football, coaches will always fall back to their learning of this system when struggling with their backs against the wall.

Until the next time a British commentator mentions «Catenaccio» in the wrong place, Happy Defending!!!

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West Indies Cricket – A Resurgence?

In years to come the last fortnight could well be seen as the moment that West Indian cricket began its rise to regain its former position as one of the pre-eminent sides in the world. And make no mistake world cricket needs a successful and vibrant West Indies team.

Firstly, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indian Players Association (WIPA) have finally come to a mutual agreement that will see a first choice squad being selected for the forthcoming tour to Australia. Moreover, the last two weeks has seen an unheralded Trinidad and Tobago side take on and beat all comers in the inaugural T20 Champions League tournament in India.

Even if the side, which has been excellently led by Daren Ganga, fails to repeat its earlier success against New South Wales in the Final today, it is Trinidad and Tobago who will be remembered for lighting up the competition. The team’s togetherness, team spirit and refusal to give up lost causes has made them stars. What makes this all the more remarkable is the fact that Dwayne Bravo and Dinesh Ramdin aside, none of the players are considered first choice picks for the West Indies team.

All this suggests that the state of West Indian cricket may not be as terminal as many observers feared. If the spirit and quality shown by Trinidad and Tobago can be replicated by the West Indies Test and limited overs sides then there should be a steep upward curve in their ranking in all forms of the game. This is not to say that West Indian cricket is cured – the WICB still badly needs a restructure and needs to change its style and attitude to the players. Former players such as Michael Holding, Clive Lloyd and Sir Vivian Richards should be given prominent roles in the WICB so that the Board and the team unite in the interests of West Indian cricket. The board needs to recognise that the players need to get access to the riches available to them in English County Cricket and more so in the Indian Premier League. In return the players need to show the same fight and desire that their illustrious predecessors had when wearing the famous maroon cap.

All this won’t happen overnight – indeed it may never happen. But hopefully it is the start of a long road to former glories However, now that the impasse with the WICB has been bridged, at least the team can concentrate on preparing for the difficult assignment that awaits them in Australia where the first of a three test series starts in Brisbane on 26th November. Before then the selectors have an interesting task in picking the squad with several Trinidad and Tobago players making a good case for selection as well as Kemar Roach and Darren Sammy from the WICB XI that played in the Champions Trophy.

The first major decision the selectors have to make is who should captain the side. I think we can safely ignore the claims of Floyd Reifer who captained the WICB XI during the dispute between the board and WIPA. This probably leaves two options – Chris Gayle and Ganga. The laconic Gayle, who led the side before the dispute, had overseen an improvement in fortunes with a drawn series in New Zealand preceding the home triumph over England. He also led the team to the semi-finals of the World T20 and stated this week his desire to be reinstated as captain. «If I am asked to do the job I will be committed,» Gayle told Reuters. «It is always an honour to captain the West Indies. I am always committed to do it. Support-wise the players have been really good and it shouldn’t be a problem. Once I am asked to do it then, definitely.»

However, Ganga has impressed many observers with the way he has led Trinidad and Tobago. The raw ingredients of togetherness, willingness to fight for each other and the knack of someone being prepared to stick their hand up when something special is required are just what the West Indies needs. Although Ganga only averages 25.71 from 48 tests and has only scored three centuries, his fearless and vibrant captaincy makes this an interesting conundrum for the selectors. Ganga’s ability to unify individuals and make the collective stronger than the sum of its parts should win the day. If so he could bat in the middle order rather than in his usual opening role.

Gayle, along with Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul are obvious picks for the selectors. Trinidad and Tobago’s Lendl Simmons and 19 year old Adrian Barath should join them in the squad. The former has shown sporadically over the last year the quality needed at international level and now needs to become more consistent. Barath is an exciting prospect who already averages 46.05 in his first class career and could become the long term opening partner to Gayle at both Test and limited overs level. If the selectors want to pick a seventh batsman then Australian born Brendan Nash would appear to be the most likely.

Dwayne Bravo, who has the potential to become the World’s outstanding all-rounder now that Andrew Flintoff has retired and Jacques Kallis continues to get older is a shoo-in, as is Ramdin as wicketkeeper. Kieron Pollard has shown during the Champions League that he has temperament required for the big stage so could be a shrewd pick as cover for Bravo.

This brings us to the bowlers. Jerome Taylor and Fidel Edwards should both enjoy bowling on the bouncy Australian wickets. So should the extremely fast Roach who impressed against Bangladesh and during the Champions Trophy. Ravi Rampaul, Daren Powell and Sammy will all be in contention too. In the spin department, there is not as much strength in depth and Gayle will probably have to provide support to Sulieman Benn, who did reasonably well against England when they toured the Caribbean.

So, the Test squad could end up as follows:

Daren Ganga (C), Chris Gayle, Adrian Barath, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Dinesh Ramdin, Chadwick Walton, Sulieman Benn, Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach, Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul and Darren Sammy

There is no doubt that a tour to Australia is probably the toughest assignment of all, but with Ganga at the helm and a group of talented players in the squad the West Indies should at least be able to compete with Ricky Ponting’s side. The raw ingredients are there to cause a few surprises even if Australia will likely win the series. Cricket fans around the world hope that this is the start of a new dawn in Caribbean cricket.

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