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'Contract row not to affect 3rd Test'

Lara, however, was quick to change the issue, saying that he expected the pitch at St Kitts Warner Park to favour batsmen.

india Updated: Jun 22, 2006 16:56 IST

West Indies captain Brian Lara has allayed apprehensions that the contract row between the players and the West Indies Cricket board would jeopardise the third cricket Test against India starting on Thursday.

"I am not authorised to speak on it so I would refrain from saying anything on the matter. As far as we are concerned, we are going ahead with the Test. I have not seen any unease among players because of pay matter. Everyone is looking forward to the game," Lara told reporters ahead of the third Test.

Turning to the match, Lara said that he expected the pitch at St Kitts' Warner Park to favour batsmen.

"It is certainly more harder than before but I would still expect it to favour batsmen."

Lara, whose second innings century in the second Test at St Lucia had helped West Indies draw the match, said that his team had no fitness worry except for Dwayne Bravo who was down with flu virus.

"He didn't come out to practice but we expect him to turn up for the match."

Lara said his team would look to take a leaf out of India's sheet in terms of big scores from his batsmen.

"Indians have said that they looked forward to applying pressure on the West Indies by piling up big scores and I would expect my batters to do the same.

"On hindsight, it was disappointing that we did not pile up a big score in the first innings of the Antigua Test after getting them out cheaply for 243. I certainly expected my batsmen to pile up 400 plus and even 500 runs on that pitch."