JOHNSON CHARLES EAGER TO LEARN FROM LEGEND DESMOND HAYNESMonday 19th September 2011
Bridgetown, Barbados – In just his first week in West Indies colours Johnson Charles says he has “learned a lot of great new things” while working with West Indies Batting Consultant Desmond Haynes.
Charles, a top-order batsman from the island of St Lucia, earned a call-up to the squad for the two-match T20 Series against England next week at the Kia Oval in London. Since joining the team for the one-week preparatory camp he has worked closely with Haynes, the legendary opening batsman.
“Personally it was an hounor to meet him [Haynes] for the first time when I joined the camp. It is quite special for me to work with him. He is one of the greatest players in West Indies cricket and he is a great role model to work with and learn from. I have been picking up a lot of ideas from him and he has been helping me with my balance at the crease, hitting as straight as possible, as well as some other areas,” Charles said.
“He has given me some good advice. He told me to always try to stay composed at the crease and to believe in myself. We have worked on specifics in the indoor nets and already I am getting the benefits of those sessions. Coming from the regional level and being exposed to how the system works at the international level has been an eye-opener for me and I am enjoying it. I want to develop as a cricketer at the international level.”
Charles, a 22-year-old right-hander is a confident young man. He is a self-starter and has fitted in well in the new team environment. He is only the second St Lucian to be selected in the West Indies after captain Darren Sammy. Charles stressed that the new fitness regime also helped him.
“The work here is more intense than playing for the Windwards and I’m coping quite well. I have been working well within the squad and we have all been working well together. I am aiming to increase my stamina and endurance.”
He has also been looking at the England team as he prepares for his first international outing.
“I watched the England matches playing against India and I picked up a few things. I notice the bowlers varying their pace a lot so we can expect a lot of variations when we face them in the two matches. I see this as a great opportunity to play against world-class opposition. This is my first chance. I’m looking to make strides.”
The West Indies are slated to play a warm-up match against Sagicor HPC on Sunday at the 3Ws Oval. First ball is 2 pm (1 pm Jamaica Time). The squad departs from Barbados on Monday. The two-match series will be played at the Kia Oval in London on Friday, September 23 and Sunday, September 25.
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