GEELONG, Australia (CMC):In the wake of heavy losses in their only two fixtures on tour, West Indies will look to defy soaring temperatures and make the most of their two-day match against the Victoria XI as they continue their build-up to the second Test match against Australia starting Boxing Day.Skipper Jason Holder said the match, which bowls off today (last night Jamaica time), would give all the batsmen a chance to get some time in the middle while offering the bowlers an opportunity to get acclimatised to the relative heat of the mainland – significantly warmer than the conditions experienced in the first Test in chilly Tasmania.The weekend forecast in Geelong is for 408C but Holder said his players were prepared for the dry heat at the Simonds Stadium.Officials at the stadium have brought in special cooling fans, as well as scheduled extra drinks breaks.”It’s just a matter of adapting. We played in some cooler conditions (in Hobart) and now we face warmer conditions,” Holder told members of the media here.”Many of us have played in the subcontinent and we all know that it can be quite humid as well, so I don’t think it will be anything we haven’t experienced.GOOD PITCH”It’s two days but we have to make the most of it. It’s what’s on the schedule and what we have to work with. We will get a chance for the batsmen to get in on what appears to be a good pitch. We have to make the most of the opportunity here.”West Indies have made a nightmare start to their tour in Down Under and are under immense pressure to improve ahead of the Melbourne Test starting in just over a week’s time.They lost their opening four-day tour match to a Cricket Australia XI by 10 wickets and then were hammered inside three days by an innings and 212 runs in the opening Test in Hobart.Holder said the two-day match would also be key opportunity for his bowling staff to make the necessary changes ahead of the BoxingDay contest.”On the bowling side, we have done a lot of bowling in the nets, so this will serve as a chance to get a few things right in the middle,” the 24-year-old said. “We will look at the plans we have for the MCG Test, which is what we’re working towards.”
Table Tennis Jamaica (TTJ) President Godfrey Lothian has made a call for greater support from corporate entities, following the country’s third-place finish in Division Three at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Perfect World Team Champion-ships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, recently, which also saw the Jamaicans jumping from Division Five to their current status in three years.In 2014, in Japan, the Jamaica team of Michael Hyatt, Kane Watson, Simon Tomlinson and Chris Marsh swept all before them to take the Division Five crown.Starting out at Division Four this time around, the Jamaicans won all their four group matches, before moving on to the quarter-finals where they defeated the United Arab Emirates 3-0.In the semi-finals, the Jamaicans lost to Pakistan.TOO HOT FORPANAMAHowever, the Caribbean team was too much for Panama in the bronze-medal match, as they beat the Central Americans 3-0 to claim third spot and a place in Division Three for the next championship.”In three years, we have moved up two divisions. We have moved from fifth to fourth to third [division], and that is unprecedented. So things are happening in table tennis, and we should be rewarded with some strong support,” Lothian commented.”We see that we can have success in the sport. This [sport] is not just for Asian and European countries. Countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, in particular, Jamaica, can have success, but we need corporate Jamaica to see table tennis as a sport they can invest in.”They (corporate community) need to see it as a sport that can draw large support as it can be played any and everywhere. We also have a lot of new activities coming on board that we just want support for,” he continued.Lothian was also full of praise for the country’s representatives – Hyatt, Watson and Mark Phillips – who won the bronze at the championship, and noted that there were many more youngsters on the rise.”I am elated! This is great because success has been achieved, so we are overwhelmed,” beamed Lothian.”They (players) really did Jamaica proud. We have other youngsters coming up, so we have a face now of five, six players, so things are looking good for table tennis,” he added.