Bravo keeping fit during COVID-19 shutdown

first_imgPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, (CMC) – A decision to invest in cricket nets at his home has paid dividends for West Indies marquee left-hander, Darren Bravo, especially with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic having halted competitive cricket in the Caribbean.The 31-year-old, who recently returned to the West Indies side for the one-day tour of Sri Lanka, said he had been able to stay fit during the break so as to be ready for whenever domestic or international cricket resumed.“A couple months ago I decided to build my own cricket nets at my home. I invested in a bowling machine and stuff like that,” Bravo said.“So I’ve been training. My brother (Dwayne Bravo) comes across from time to time and we do some physical training as well but more so I tend to spend a lot of time in the nets with the bowling machine …“So things have been working out. I’m just trying to stay as fit as possible and trying to improve on my skills as much as possible. Hopefully we can be back out pretty soon.”Cricket West Indies (CWI) has put a pause on its domestic itinerary because of the outbreak and maybe forced to cancel some international series if the pandemic continues to impact the region.Bravo remains one of West Indies’ most experienced batsman with 54 Tests and 113 One-Day Internationals under his belt.However, he was dropped last October for tours of Afghanistan and India following a poor run of form, resulting from a protracted layoff owing to a public spat with former Cricket West Indies president, Dave Cameron.He scored heavily in both the recent Super50 Cup and the first class championship and though he never got going in the three-match series against the Sri Lankans, an 88-ball hundred in a warm-up against a Sri Lanka Cricket XI was enough to convince many of his return to form.“I had the opportunity to go back and play in the Super50 and I think I did well,” Bravo said.“I think the opportunity to come back play more cricket and spend more time out in the middle, that did a lot for me and gave me a lot of confidence to move forward.”He added: “[There were] not ideal performances [in Sri Lanka] but I think the camaraderie and the way we went about playing Sri Lanka, I think [captain] Kieron Pollard and [coach] Phil Simmons are doing a fantastic job.“All in all, the team is coming along nicely. Obviously the people in the team is our strong point but having said that, the team is gelling nicely and I’m sure in the not too distant future as long as we continue playing as a team and keep believing in ourselves, things can change for us.”last_img read more

Abelardo’s ‘summer’ before the storm

first_imgEspanyol will live a kind of summer in the middle of January, without a League and with a focus on the market, with a new coach who will face this mini preseason with the motivation drawn from 2-2 against Barcelona. After this summer, the storm will come. Espanyol will begin the countdown to four points of salvation, an idyllic situation taking into account the circumstances. Five days ago, the distance was the same and in this section the blue and white team was able to add two points. Those below do not react.The market: the ups and downsRaúl de Tomás and Mariano are still plans A and B of Espanyol in attack, but the parakeet club will also drop. Players like Pipa or even Ferreyra could leave the squad. A conversion that will start now.The game model: solidity and verticalityAbelardo will try to create a supportive Espanyol and that defends in own field but that alternates the pressure, as well as that it is vertical and quickly looks for the spaces. You will have to adapt the players to the roles.Psychology: gain confidenceApart from the tactical aspects, Abelardo will try to take advantage of the wave of its premiere so that the template retains that confidence and optimism to face the following meetings. The technician considers it a fundamental aspect.The strategy: the secret weaponThe stopped ball already gave Espanyol a goal against Barcelona but must give him more. It is one of the aspects of the game that Abelardo values ​​most, and will continue to influence these days in improving the plays. The team’s secret weapon. From this afternoon until the weekend of January 18 and 19, Abelardo Fernández will have practically two weeks (which could involve ten trainings) to instill the team with their ideas and begin to give a new form to the staff. A break for the dispute of the Supercopa of Spain that will have a particularity that helps the Asturian: in the absence of international commitments, you can count on all the players. Matías Vargas, who had options to go with the Argentine Olympic team to play the qualifying tournament, has not finally entered. Another good news for the coach.With the Copa match against San Sebastián de los Reyes on the horizon this Sunday (12:00) as a perfect test bench, the market is the other focus. After the end of the Christmas festivities, the sports management expects to close at least two players before the match against Villarreal that can begin to enter the group dynamics, although for the moment they have not transcended very advanced negotiations.last_img read more