GETTING HELP: Adrian Barath

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Expert help for Barath

Former star bat Greenidge working with opener

By Donstan Bonn

Opening batsman Adrian Barath has employed some expert help as he tries to regain a place on the West Indies team.

Barath, who scored a century on his Test debut against Australia back in 2009, was left out of the West Indies squad currently on tour of Bangladesh. Kieran Powell, opening the batting with Chris Gayle, scored a century in each innings as the Caribbean side won the first Test by 77 runs. But Barath, who is currently preparing with a national squad ahead of the Caribbean Twenty20 series, has enlisted the help of a former top West Indies opener. He's now looking forward to the upcoming season.

"Currently I am in training under the watchful eyes of Gordon Greenidge which is somewhat of a private thing at the moment. Greenidge organised a ten-day programme which began on Monday (last week) and is conducted on afternoons after we have concluded national training, so it's really an interesting thing."

He added that he believes that Greenidge was one of the best opening batsmen West Indies have produced and that there's much to learn from him.

"I intend to use this opportunity to gain as much knowledge and confidence so I am looking forward to the next five days," he said. "Additionally, this presents the opportunity for me to build a relationship with him and understand what made him such a special player, especially since in his time, they did not have the facilities and technology we have today, so it would be interesting to find out what they did in order to perform consistently at the highest level.

"We all live in a modern era and it's all different now, so it will be good to hear what he has to impart, so I am looking forward to the sessions ahead."

Barath said he's doing well with regards to his fitness, having not had any issues lately. His intention is to build on that and position himself to perform well for Trinidad and Tobago in the upcoming season and hopefully get back on the West Indies team.

Speaking of West Indies, Barath said he was encouraged by the performance of the side in the first Test and singled out some players for their contributions.

"I think they did an excellent job in putting together a good first innings score and not taking anything away from the opposing bowlers, but our batsmen really played well," Barath said. "I must commend young Kieran Powell, my opening partner, for scoring back-to-back centuries in the same Test since I believe the last time a West Indian batsman achieved this was in 1976. So that is a remarkable achievement for him and I hope that he continues to do well."

Barath said that Denesh Ramdin must also be praised for notching his second century in the space of four Tests, as well as Shivnarine Chanderpaul for notching a double century. "The team is doing really well and I hope that the other players, myself included, can learn from Chanderpaul and the manner in which he plays.

Barath spoke with the Express at Cascadia Hotel in St Ann's last Friday where he was among a group of 50 players, coaches and administrators being honoured by the Secondary Schools Cricket League (SSCL) for their contribution to the development of the sport over the past five decades.

He said he felt privileged to be honoured by the SSCL alongside people like Brian Lara, Larry Gomes and Ian Bishop. "It's a remarkable achievement and I must commend the Secondary Schools Cricket league for what they have provided for young cricketers and young girls that pass through this league and go on to represent T&T and the West Indies because it is very important where you start especially at that crucial age while at secondary school."

Having personally benefitted from the SSCL programme, Barath said he fully endorsed what the league is doing and continues to do.

"It is very important that they continue doing their good work and I want to take this opportunity to commend them for all the hard work."

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