Windies hoping for family feel
West Indies began their tour of England on Saturday, hoping their "family" of developing talent can keep them competitive in three Tests.
Coach Ottis Gibson acknowledged two days ago that the Windies, under Darren Sammy's captaincy, face their toughest challenge in the longest format against world-beaters England.
Gibson is optimistic that the tourists will prove more at home over 50 overs and then in a one-off Twenty20, and it is not difficult to see why - especially if Chris Gayle and others in a star-studded cavalry arrive in time for the shorter matches.
In the meantime, Sammy and Gibson will continue to forge a 'one-for-all' mentality - just as Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss have done so effectively for richly-talented England - to try to push the hosts out of their comfort zone.
Sussex are the West Indies' first opponents, and first opportunity to consolidate on signs of progress in what was nonetheless a 2-0 Test series defeat at home to Australia - concluded just last week.
Among the number under Sammy and Gibson's guidance is vice-captain Kirk Edwards, who made it clear yesterday that he and his team-mates are happy to buy into the idea of working hard for one another in the hope of enjoying mutual success.
Asked about the "family", of which Sammy had previously spoken, Edwards said: "It's been like that for a while now. The vibe is the guys tending to enjoy each other.
"It's a good environment to be in - nice and relaxed, and you're looking round and seeing guys who are like a brother here and a brother there. You tend to pull for each other.
"That's the most you can ask for in a team environment."
Sammy, still seeking to establish his credentials as a Test all-rounder, faces an unenviable task this summer.
But he appears to have little trouble winning over his players and generating common goodwill.
Edwards confirms the impression of a genial, but determined, cricketer at the helm.
"He's pretty easy-going, but a fierce competitor," he said.
"He's a tough, fighting cricketer. That's what I admire about him.
"He's known not to be as talented as most. But I know he gives 100% every time he goes out there; that's all you can really ask for from a guy."
:: West Indies were today expected to select from a fully-fit squad against a Sussex team containing England wicketkeeper Matt Prior and spinner Monty Panesar, and led by Chris Nash.