CARDIFF, Wales –Ravi Rampaul had a long lay-off from the game at the international level and now the West Indies fast bowler is looking to make an impactful return during the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy.

The 28-year-old last played for the Windies last December when the team was in Bangladesh before he was sidelined by an injury.

He returned to competitive cricket for Trinidad & Tobago in the Regional 4-Day and Super50 tournaments earlier this year, and was also impressive for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League.

Rampaul said the time away from the team gave him a chance to reflect, regroup and plan his new approach.

“I always want to perform for West Indie and I always want to perform for my country,” he said.

“I have not played for West Indies for a couple months now, so I want to come back and get the ball rolling and get some wickets and some good performances. I’m ready to go. I’m feeling a lot fitter and stronger. I managed to lose some weight, so I’m ready and confident.”

Rampaul was speaking as the Windies continued their intense preparations for the Champions Trophy, which begins next week.

The Windies assembled in Cardiff, Wales, earlier this week and have been training at the Swalec Stadium.

The Caribbean side play their first warm-up match on Saturday at the same venue. They then travel to Birmingham for the second warm-up against Sri Lanka next Tuesday at Edgbaston.

“I played a few times in England before and the ball does swing around and seam around,” said Rampaul.

“Once you stick to the basics and get the ball in the right areas, it will do something, so the key to bowling here is to be consistent and the ball will do the work for you. You don’t have to try too many things, the ball will do something for you – just get it in the right areas.”

While Rampaul was out of the team, Tino Best made a return to international cricket and grabbed his opportunity.

Rampaul said he was looking forward to bowling alongside Best and the others in the bowling unit.

“We have a good bowling attack and a lot of variety as well with different types of actions and at different speeds,” he said.

“One of the key factors would be to bowl in partnerships. Tino brings energy into the bowling attack and into the team. Everyone is geed up when he is around. He gives you that extra effort and enthusiasm. We need somebody like Tino in our team to help us bowl teams out.

“My aim is to help West Indies win this Champions Trophy. We did a great job when we won the World Twenty20 last year in Sri Lanka and the spirit of victory and the awesome feeling of winning is still alive in the squad.”

The ICC Champions Trophy will feature eight teams: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies. The tournament will be played across three venues from June 6 to 23.

The Windies have been drawn in Group B alongside the Indians, Pakistanis and South Africans.

They open against Pakistan on Friday, June 7, at the Oval in London and return to the famous venue on Tuesday, June 11 to take on India. The final preliminary match will be against the Proteas on Friday, June 14 here.

 
 
 
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