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Cable from paradise

Posted in England in West Indies 2009

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Bedding in: England skipper Andrew Strauss

It's amazing to think that in just a few hours, I have made the journey from a wet, cold, windy England to the paradise that is St.Kitts.

Swooping in over the island, the crystal waters sparkle as the sun sets over the green hills, and the bars begin to come alive, cat's eyes glinting along the coast.

For England, it's been a relaxed and enjoyable start to a long tour, a much needed draw of breath given the events off the field recently. Indeed it's been a place of sanctuary and an opportunity for new England captain Andrew Strauss to bed in.

On the field England have started well, Pietersen almost inevitably responding with a hundred, Shah weighing in as well to advance his credentials, and action for all three spinners under the guidance of spin coach Mushtaq Ahmed. With a three-day match against West Indies A now underway, the lads are in the final throes of preparation before next week's first Test in Jamaica. Flintoff sits out this match but he seems confident of being fit for the Test - an essential cog in balancing the side.

For me, typically, the tour started with a broken cable, so a trek into town was the order of the morning. After some spot-on directions (thattawayman, jus'keep bouncin'ye'cannaemissit) I found 'Techsperts', the Island's essential IT shop. Indeed, they met the challenge and I bounced off in time for the first ball of the day.

It was good to catch up with the players, coaching staff and press, and everyone seems in good spirits ahead of a marathon tour. In fairness, they've picked a perfect place to begin and hopefully the turmoil of the winter will be well and truly forgotten in two months time.

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