• Bill Murray Announces Concert Tour With ‘New Worlds’ Project

    first_imgBill Murray will bring his New Worlds album on the road this year when he performs a series of shows in the United States and beyond with cellist Jan Vogler, violinist Mira Wang, and pianist Vanessa Perez. Released in 2017, the famed comedian and actor’s debut album is a collection of classical compositions and literary readings. The record includes selections from European composers such as Franz Schubert, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Maurice Ravel as well as beloved American songwriters like George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, and Henry Mancini. Many of the tunes are combined with readings from iconic works of literature like Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself. Murray and his crew will get started on March 2nd in Bacon Raton, Florida, before swinging through parts of the South, East Coast, and Midwest. They will then hop around the world for a run of dates in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. These performances will mark Murray’s first concerts since the group made its debut in Germany last summer at Dresden Music Festival and followed it up with a fall run in the U.S. that included an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.New Worlds on The Late Show with Stephen ColbertTickets for most of the shows are now on sale via the project’s website. A full list of tour dates can be found below.Bill Murray’s New Worlds Tour DatesMarch 2 Boca Raton, FL @ Mizner Park AmpitheaterMarch 4 Washington, DC @ Keennedy CenterMarch 18 Austin, TX @ Long Center for the Performing ArtsMarch 19 New Orleans, LA @ Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing ArtsApril 5 Princeton, NJ @ McCarter TheatreApril 6 Baltimore, MD @ Hippodrome at France-Merrick Performing Arts CenterApril 7 Pittsburgh, PA @ Heinz HallApril 9 Schenectady, NY @ MainStage at ProctorsApril 11 Rochester, NY @ Kodak Hall of Eastman TheatreApril 12 Boston, MA @ Orpheum TheatreApril 14 Dallas, TX @ Winspear Opera HouseApril 17 Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside TheaterApril 18 Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore DetroitApril 19 Chicago, IL @ The Chicago TheatreApril 20 Minneapolis, MN @ Orpheum TheatreJune 1 Berlin, DE @ Philharmonie BerlinJune 2 Recklinghausen, DE @ Ruhrfestspiele RecklinghausenJune 14 Reykjavik, IS @ HarpaJune 15 Reykjavik, IS @ HarpaJune 19 Athens, GR @ Odeon of Herodes AtticusJune 24 Cooperstown, NY @ Alice Busch Opera TheatreNovember 14 Wellington, NZ @ Michael Fowler CentreNovember 17 South Wharf, AU @ Melbourne Convention and Exhibition CentreDecember 10 Denver, CO @ Bellco Theatre[H/T – Consequence of Sound]last_img read more

  • ‘Pneuma(tic) Bodies’ at Carpenter Center

    first_imgSmall cooling ventilators continuously inflate three large balloon-like forms, causing the soft, translucent surfaces to tremble slightly.The thin plastic sculptures share a space with large-scale images of varying degrees of glossy black paint on paper on Level 1 of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.The sculptures and drawings are part of “Pneuma(tic) Bodies,” which opens today with a 6 p.m. dance performance featuring Jill Johnson. The exhibit continues through Feb. 21.Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe installation was created by  Silvia Benedito, an assistant professor of landscape architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), and architect C. Alexander Häusler. It is an extension of the GSD conference “On Atmospheres: Spaces of Embodiment.” The conference explores the relationship of the body, objects, and architectural space through the enveloping medium of air.Integral to the project is the collaboration with the Carpenter Center, GSD, the Dance Department, and the Harvard University Studio for Electroacoustic Composition (HUSEC). The exhibit opening not only includes feature Johnson, a dancer, choreographer, and director of dance, but also Hans Tutschku, composer and director of HUSEC. The two will “simultaneously respond through bodily, sonic, and sensorial engagement with the objects and space.”Movement is fundamental to the installation. The globular forms, or “bodies,” as Benedito and Häusler call the balloon sculptures, move subtly in response to shifting air currents caused by visitors coming and going, doors opening and closing. Additionally, the drawings, though installed on the flat surface of walls, encourage physical interaction from viewers. Their shifting surface properties become visible only when moving from various angles and distances.Scale matters, too. The drawings are about 6½ feet tall, ranging in width from 9 to 11 feet, as if exposing the scale and reach of the human body. In addition to the drawings, the large sculptures also challenge scale. The Carpenter Center was designed by master architect Le Corbusier, who developed the concept of “Modulor,” an ideal system of proportions relating the human body to the architectural environment. Here, relating the body to the sculptures creates a sense of space rather than a rigid architectural schema.For more information, check out the Carpenter Center’s website.last_img read more

  • Peanut Variety Research

    first_imgPeanut’s oldest known relatives held some secret defenses in their genes when South American farmers first crossed the two wild species around 8,000 years ago to create the modern peanut.Over the years, the breeding for taste, size and other traits has reduced diversity in modern varieties. The Peanut Innovation Lab is working not only to find the diversity in modern peanut, but also to introduce new diversity from the wild species. These efforts are aimed at helping to improve future peanut varieties – which already adapts well to different climates – become even more resilient to disease, pests and extreme weather.“We are excited about the opportunities that modern science provides to both identify the diversity in existing peanut varieties, but also to recreate the original crosses between wild progenitors to create new peanut varieties,” Dave Hoisington, Director of the Peanut Innovation Lab at the University of Georgia said. “By linking US scientists with scientists in Africa, I’m positive we’ll achieve great success in developing much better varieties for U.S. and African farmers.”Finding ancient strengthWorking with Senegalese geneticist Daniel Fonceka, David Bertioli is introducing the traits of wild alleles into cultivated peanut in west Africa, a strategy that previously produced six new varieties in Senegal – with higher yield, more haulm mass and larger seeds.At the same time, Soraya Leal-Bertioli is focused on incorporating genetic strengths of ancestor plants to fight groundnut rosette disease or GRD, a peanut nemesis across Africa. The lines developed in the US and Senegal will be tested in Uganda – a hot spot for GRD – and crossed with local lines to produce cultivars with higher resistance to GRD and late leaf spot.Scientists have tapped into wild species to find disease resistance before, but we have more tools to pinpoint the genes today.The earliest cultivated peanut was grown in Peru, a place that doesn’t have wild peanut ancestors. That means people already were breeding peanut thousands of years ago and carried the seed to modern-day Peru to plant, Bertioli said.Modern polyploid peanut comes from two distinct genomes to create Arachis hypogaea. “Peanut came about through the intervention of man,” Bertioloi said. “Disease resistance through indigenous species was done in the 20th Century, but that origin was lost in the pedigree.”Plant breeders continued to select for certain traits so that no one is sure how similar varieties are and which ones might hold some of those powerful traits of the ancestors.Mapping today’s diversityTo understand the genes different peanut varieties around the world hold, a project spearheaded by University of Georgia scientist Peggy Ozias-Akins is mapping the genetic diversity of peanut varieties grown across Africa. By understanding the genetic differences in varieties, scientists in the lab can pinpoint the genes attached to different resiliency traits and empower plant breeders to incorporate those traits into new varieties.First, plant breeders from several African countries – Ghana, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo in west Africa and Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia in southern and eastern Africa – submitted seed of a total of 1300 peanut varieties grown in their regions.Plants were grown out in Senegal, DNA extracted and genotyping done in the USA. Scientists are evaluating the data to determine the overall diversity of the submitted lines, and to define a subset of lines to evaluate in the field across Africa.Now, Ozias-Akins is genotyping another 2500 lines of African origin that are stored in the USDA germplasm collection in order to determine whether those lines have more or less diversity than those now used in breeding programs. Thirty-six African countries of origin are represented among the selections.Breeding for new traitsWith the new Breeding Management Software (or BMS) developed by the Integrated Breeding Platform, the peanut breeders in national programs in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Uganda are better equipped to design trials, use barcodes for tracking seed and plots, acquiring field data using digital handheld devices, and efficiently analyzing the results from trials. The data is stored in the cloud where the team can collaborate, the records are safe from natural disaster and data grows season after season.“The crossing design, pedigree of developed lines, salient attributes of the developed lines needs – all these steps used to be captured manually as a standalone process and stored on shelves. Retrieving and using that information was very challenging, if not impossible, particularly when the person who wrote down the data wasn’t there. The BMS allows all that information to be housed in one unit,” Okello said.“As our breeding program is moving towards marker-assisted breeding, BMS will be even more handy. From planning to genotype data management, and introgression of useful QTLs” – all benefit from BMS.”last_img read more

  • Democrats to lose House seats but keep majority

    first_imgU.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, speaks during a news conference at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.Alyssa Schukar | Bloomberg | Getty Images – Advertisement – In races called by NBC, Republicans have flipped a net three seats. Democrats have won 199 seats, the GOP has carried 188 and 48 remain uncalled. – Advertisement – Democrats will keep their U.S. House majority in the next Congress, according to NBC News.But after a series of rough early returns from the 2020 election, the party will likely have fewer seats in January than it does now.NBC estimates Democrats will hold 226 House seats, while Republicans will have 209. The figures could change, as NBC said the parties may ultimately end up with as many as eight seats more or less than those projections. (Eight fewer seats for Democrats would put them at 218, the minimum they need for a majority).- Advertisement – Republicans have so far cut into the Democratic majority mostly by gaining back ground they lost in the 2018 midterms, when Democrats flipped House control. The GOP will defeat at least five House Democrats, including four first-term representatives.Republican Nancy Mace will beat freshman Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham in South Carolina’s 1st District.GOP candidate Stephanie Bice will defeat first-term Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn in Oklahoma’s 5th District.Republican Michelle Fischbach will prevail over longtime Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson in Minnesota’s 7th District. GOP candidate Yvette Herrell will win her rematch against first-term Democratic Rep. Xochitl Torres Small in New Mexico’s 2nd District. Republican Ashley Hinson will defeat first-term Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer in Iowa’s 1st District. Democrats have also gained two seats in races called by NBC News. Deborah Ross and Kathy Manning will win races for North Carolina’s 2nd and 6th Districts, respectively. Both GOP-held seats became more friendly to Democrats after redistricting in the state. – Advertisement – Entering Election Day, forecasters projected Democrats would gain House seats and challenge for the Senate majority. Now, Democrats may only end up with a narrow majority in the House as states count final results to determine whether Republicans hold their advantage in the Senate. In a letter to House Democrats on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi projected confidence in Democratic nominee Joe Biden winning the presidential election. Remaining tallies in states including Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona will determine whether he or President Donald Trump occupy the White House for the next four years. She said that the Democratic House and White House would “have the opportunity to deliver extraordinary progress” on issues including health care, infrastructure and clean government. She acknowledged a “challenging election” and said Democratic candidates “made us proud.” Out of the nine Democratic-held districts the nonpartisan Cook Political report listed as toss-up races, NBC projects Republicans will win at least four. Five are unresolved. Cook considered 17 Republican seats and one independent-held district as toss-ups. The GOP has won all nine of those races that NBC has called so far. House Democrats aimed to expand their reach in the 2020 election, targeting a range of Republican seats in states including Texas, North Carolina and Florida. After an often discussed push by Democrats to win GOP-held seats in Texas, the party has not flipped any of the districts it targeted (though NBC has not projected results in at least two of them). The party also did not gain any seats in Florida, and two South Florida House Democrats currently trail in races not yet called by NBC. Even so, NBC projects Democrats will hold a range of key districts they won in 2018. Reps. Lizzie Fletcher and Colin Allred are expected to keep their seats in Texas. Rep. Lucy McBath will win reelection in Georgia, as will Reps. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, Josh Harder of California and Kim Schrier of Washington. Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.last_img read more

  • Many happy returns

    first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

  • Chukwu-Ndukwe urges Rohr to consider Home-based players

    first_img Loading… “The only thing I can advise to put in his contract is for him to be able to go and watch a lot of Nigerian league too, it’s not only going overseas to go and watch all these players. read also:Rohr gets date to pen Super Eagles contract extension The Professional league in Nigeria, he needs to go there. There is a lot of talent there and he can also get two or three or four players that he can put in the team. We have two or three old players in this team that will leave very soon. So he can find good talents in the Nigeria league not only going to Europe to watch Nigerian players play.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentSome Impressive And Almost Shocking Robots That Exist7 Famous And Incredibly Unique Places In ThailandBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them7 Non-Obvious Things That Damage Your Phone6 Most Unforgettable Bridges In The World7 Train Stations In The World You Wish To Stay At LongerMind-Bending Technology That Was Predicted Before It AppearedBeautiful Mutations: 15 Staggering Photos Of Heterochromia10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do6 Unforgettable Shows From The 90s That Need To Make A Comeback9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Tattoo5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks Former Nigeria international, Raphael Chukwu-Ndukwe, has called on the coach of  Super Eagles to consider exploring the abundance of talents in the Nigeria league scene ahead of his contract extension with the Nigeria Football Federation. Chukwu-Ndukwe speaking in a chat with advised that the coach should look keenly into the Nigerian league beyond just paying lip service and also see areas where players in the domestic league can be of value to the national team of Nigeria.Advertisementlast_img read more

  • Ellsworth girls’ basketball team advances to quarterfinals

    first_img Drive-thru flu shot clinics scheduled – September 18, 2020 Bio Real Estate Transfers Week of Sept. 17 – September 18, 2020 Latest Posts Donald Trump Jr. to host Holden campaign event – September 18, 2020center_img ELLSWORTH — Samantha Mason led the Ellsworth High School girls’ basketball team to a 57-44 victory over No. 12-ranked Mattanawcook Academy in Tuesday’s Class B North prelim.Mason scored a game-high 21 points for the fifth-seeded Eagles. Caitlin Bean contributed 12 points, and Madison Card added 10.Ellsworth will play No. 4-ranked Winslow in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Latest posts by (see all) This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

  • Tennis News US Open 2019: Master Of Clay Rafael Nadal Finds Unlikely Second Home At Flushing Meadows

    first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Tennis News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New York: Unlike at his beloved Roland Garros, success did not arrive overnight for Rafael Nadal on the unforgiving hard courts of the US Open, where he surged to within a title of Roger Federer’s all-time men’s Grand Slam singles record on Sunday. Nadal’s epic victory over Daniil Medvedev secured the Spaniard his fourth US Open crown, leaving him one shy of the Open era record of five titles belonging to long-time rival Federer, Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors.But it was not an instant connection between Nadal, his notoriously suspect knees, and the year’s final Grand Slam tournament.”I think at the beginning of my career have been some tough moments here, losing matches,” said Nadal, who failed to reach a single semi-final in his first five trips to the US Open.During that span, Nadal would claim at least one singles title at the other three majors, but it was not until his eighth visit to Flushing Meadows that he would get his hands on an elusive US Open trophy.”Since a long time ago, every time that I came here I felt comfortable. I felt very competitive and fighting for the big things,” Nadal said during his run to a second US Open title in three years.”I feel comfortable here, I like the atmosphere, I like the crowd. I feel a big energy when I am playing in this Arthur Ashe Stadium.”This is cool. Rafael Nadal brought to tears after his US Open title. #VamosRafa— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) September 9, 2019Nadal’s latest coronation, his 19th Grand Slam title, reinforced the fact the slower courts of the US Open and his obliging knees have turned New York into a land of opportunity.Vanquished opponents this past fortnight struggled to find superlatives befitting the 33-year-old as he capped one of his greatest Grand Slam years in thrilling style.Diego Schwartzman suggested Nadal was “like a lion in the middle of the jungle” while Matteo Berrettini called him “the greatest fighter ever in this sport.” “It’s tough to find words. He’s one of the greatest champions in the history of our sport. He’s just a machine, a beast on the court,” Medvedev said.Injury Misery Victory on Sunday moved Nadal to within one Grand Slam title of Federer, who, at 38, is more than four years older, but the Spaniard downplayed the importance of catching the Swiss legend.”Of course, I would love to be the one who achieves more Grand Slams, but I still sleep very well without being the one who has more Grand Slams,” Nadal said, with typical humility.His Grand Slam CV boasts 12 French Opens, four US Open titles, two at Wimbledon and one at the Australian Open. His 2008 Wimbledon final triumph over Federer is widely regarded as the greatest-ever final at the majors.Along with Federer and Novak Djokovic, the other member of tennis’ “Big Three”, Nadal has comfortably passed the $100 million prize money barrier.Tennis has been good for Nadal but he has been just as influential as a key driver of the sport’s growth.He won an under-12 regional crown at age eight and by 12 had captured Spanish and European age-group junior titles.By 15, he had turned professional and, two years later, won his first match against Federer. At 19, he won the 2005 French Open on his debut.Nadal has Wimbledon crowns in 2008 and 2010, an Australian Open title in 2009 and completed the career Grand Slam in 2010 by defeating Djokovic in the US Open final, becoming the youngest in the Open era to complete the four-event career sweep.Only Nadal and Andre Agassi can say they have a career Grand Slam and an Olympic men’s singles gold medal, Nadal having claimed his in 2008 at Beijing.He has also led Spain to four Davis Cups.Knee and wrist injuries have taken a toll throughout his career, however, costing him nine Slam appearances.After he failed to even reach a Slam semi-final in 2015 and 2016 some figured his greatest moments were behind him.But Nadal roared into the 2017 Australian Open final, losing to Federer, then captured a record 10th French Open crown in June that year, setting the stage for another title run at the US Open.Those struggles receded further into distant memories this year as he reached the semi-finals at all four majors for the first time since 2008, his five-set win over Medvedev moving him a step closer to history. last_img read more

  • Update on the latest sports

    first_img April 19, 2020 Byron makes it 2 straight winsCHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — William Byron won his second consecutive NASCAR virtual race by holding off Timmy Hill in a drama-free event at virtual Richmond Raceway.The most excitement came when Matt DiBenedetto was parked for intentionally crashing Ryan Preece and the two then engaged in a Twitter spat. The iRacing Series has had a sour taste since Bubba Wallace lost a sponsor for quitting a game in a rage and Kyle Larson was fired for using a racial slur.FORMULA1-VIRTUAL RACINGLeclerc wins virtual GP, again Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSSports leagues seek return to play but with no guaranteesUNDATED (AP) — Sports fans hoping for a fast return to the games they love might need to temper their expectations. Although sports leagues talk publicly about their desire to return to competition before summer, those are best-case scenarios. Update on the latest sports Former NBA top pick Bogut unsure about playing futureUNDATED (AP) — Andrew Bogut (BOH’-gut) is close to making a decision on when to end his career after 15 years in professional basketball.Bogut was planning to retire after playing for Australia at the Tokyo Games this summer. With those games delayed until July 2021, the 35-year-old is debating whether to wait it out. He says he probably needs to decide by mid-May.Bogut was a 2005 No. 1 draft pick by Milwaukee and won an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015. He has played for Sydney in the National Basketball League the past two seasons.NASCAR-VIRTUAL RACING Behind closed doors, they are hatching different potential plans: all 30 baseball teams playing in Arizona; home run contests to decide tie games; the Stanley Cup being hoisted in an empty arena that neither team calls home; end-of-season soccer standings decided by vote; college football games in spring.Over the past week, The Associated Press interviewed more than 20 policymakers, coaches and players across the globe for their assessments of the situation. They all conceded that sports may not restart for months, if at all this year. Most agree that what’s needed is a drastic ramp-up in testing, a vaccine or some type of improved treatment to make players feel safe to compete.Dr. Anthony Fauci (FOW’-chee), the infectious disease expert, has suggested that sports could conceivably return with no fans in arenas and constant testing for the players, who would likely need to be quarantined in hotels for weeks or months. Not all players are on board.In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:— Wayne Gretzky is optimistic the NHL will be able to resume at some point this summer. He tells The Associated Press he’s hopeful hockey and other sports will be able to come back from the coronavirus pandemic and serve as a sign that conditions are improving. Gretzky says he believes leaders in the U.S. and Canada will find a way to bring back hockey and other sports in June, July and August. The league is considering several options on trying to resume this season, including going directly to the playoffs at several neutral sites. — Soccer has resumed in Turkmenistan with spectators as the Central Asian nation lifted a suspension of its national league. Around 500 people attended Sunday’s game in a 20,000-capacity stadium in the capital. The crowd size was broadly in line with typical domestic league games in Turkmenistan and as usual attendance was free. The game ended 1-1. The eight-team league was suspended on March 24 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Turkmenistan is one of the few countries in the world not to have reported any cases of the coronavirus.— The stadium of English Premier League club Brighton has been converted into the south coast’s biggest drive-in coronavirus testing center. The appointment-only center has been put in place at the American Express Community Stadium as part of the drive to increase testing for National Health Service staff and other key workers. Officials say the center was scheduled to see more than 50 NHS frontline workers on Saturday, and they will have the results of their tests within 48 hours. Within a few days, the site should reach its capacity of up to 1,000 tests a day.— Players and coaches for Italian soccer team Roma have waived their salary for four months. The team hasn’t played a competitive match since March 1 because of the pandemic, so the players and coaching staff will forgo salaries due to them for March, April, May and June.— British horse racing’s most successful flat trainer of all time is recovering after contracting the coronavirus. Mark Johnston has been isolating since having the symptoms confirmed and his family says he is making good progress. In 2018, Johnston celebrated his 4,194th winner, which is the most of any trainer in British flat racing.NBA-BOGUT FUTURE UNDATED (AP) — Charles Leclerc has won his second straight Formula One Virtual Grand Prix, taking the Chinese GP from the pole position.The Ferrari driver finished ahead of Red Bull’s Alex Albon and Guanyu Zhou (gwahn-yoo zhoo), who races in Formula 2.The 22-year-old Leclerc has won two actual F1 races and only started playing the video game at the start of the month. The actual Chinese GP originally was scheduled for April 19 but was postponed in February due to the coronavirus pandemic.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

  • Estwick warns Windies to prepare to ‘fight and scrap’

    first_imgMANCHESTER, England, (CMC) – Assistant coach Roddy Estwick said Monday West Indies had put last year’s Wisden Trophy triumph behind them and were cognisant of the new challenges which lay before them when they faced England in next month’s three-Test series.The Caribbean side thrashed England on home soil to claim their first series win in a decade but Estwick said with England in home conditions, and with the tour overshadowed by COVID-19 playing protocols, West Indies were facing a “very difficult series”.Stressing the need for thorough preparation and discipline, Estwick said West Indies had to be prepared to “fight and scrap”, if they were to successfully defend the Wisden.“It (last year’s series win) should give us some confidence but remember we won the Wisden Trophy back in the West Indies,” Estwick cautioned.“We’re in England now where England are very, very strong and where they very seldom lose Test series, so we’ve got to be up and running, we’ve got to be well prepared – that’s the key thing.“We can’t become complacent thinking we’ve won the series in the West Indies. It’s a new series, it’s completely different now, it’s being played behind closed doors, there are no spectators so there are a lot of changes since we last played in the Caribbean so we’ve got to be ready.”He continued: “We’ve got to make sure that our preparation is spot on, our discipline is spot on and we cannot underestimate the English. They’ll be hardworking, we’ve got to be disciplined.“They’re under a new coach, they’ve come off a good series win in South Africa so they will be ready and we’ve got to be ready to match them stride for stride and be prepared to fight and scrap because this is going to be a very, very difficult series and we know that and we’ve got to be well prepared. “The key thing is how well we prepare and then trust the process, and go and execute properly.”West Indies will be also fighting the weight of history, having not won a series in England in 32 years. In their last series here three years ago, they produced a remarkable win at Leeds to level the three-match rubber but then lost heavily at Lord’s.Estwick, who was part of the coaching unit for the 2017 series here, said the Headingley victory had proven West Indies had the ability to compete with the best Test sides.“If you remember we got beaten badly at Edgbaston and we regrouped and had a famous win at Headingley,” the Barbadian recalled.“What that tells us is that we can compete and if you look over the two series. For me, you would say the series is three-all right now – England won two Test matches over here in 2017 and we won one; we won two in the Caribbean and they won one so the series for us is all square.“We need now to win this series just to get ahead because we won on home soil, they won on home soil so it’s all up for grabs so we’ve got to make sure we find that extra motivation and if we find that extra motivation, then we can spring a surprise.”West Indies arrived here last Tuesday for the historic tour which will take place in a bio-secure environment amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.They are currently training while under quarantine at Old Trafford here and will remain isolated from the public for the duration of the seven-week tour, which will see Tests at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton and at the storied venue here.Estwick said the most important part of the preparation now was practice matches, especially with players coming out of lockdown situations in the Caribbean and unable to get match practice under their belts.“I don’t think motivation is a problem. I think once we can get them up to speed, that’s going to be the most difficult thing,” he pointed out.“Obviously they were in lockdown for two months but we (Barbadian contingent) were fortunate enough in the last two weeks in Barbados before we came over, we were able to get some work done. “The weather has been kind to us here since we arrived in England so we’ve had five days of practice so we’re getting there – we’re not fully there.“We had a meeting last night to discuss how people are feeling in their body and how ready they think they are. Most people think they are about 80 per cent at the moment so we just need to keep building up and the key thing for us is to arrive in the first Test fully ready.”He added: “We’ve got three practice matches and once people can get some more miles in their legs because as you know match practice is very, very important. You can prepare all you want in the nets but you need to go in and try and get some match readiness so once we can get match hardened then we should be fine.”last_img read more