Ahead of the upcoming England test, three West Indies players have decided against travelling to England due to coronavirus scares. Shimron Hetmyer, Darren Bravo, and Keemo Paul would not be joining the 25-man squad, made up of 14 players and 11 reserves, over at England next month.
A statement from the Cricket West Indies (CWI) read; “Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul all declined the invitation to travel to England for the tour and CWI fully respects their decision to choose to do so. As previously stated, CWI will not hold this decision against these players when considering future selection.’’ The players had been given the choice since May to opt-out of the game if they chose to.
The tour, which would be a three-Test series, would start on July 8 but players would have to arrive England on June 9 to begin quarantine ahead of the game at the Emirate Old Trafford ground.
The game itself would take place in “bio-secure venues” without the presence of fans, as that is the common trend with sports during this pandemic period to prevent the risk of fans from contracting the virus on sports grounds and to also protect the players on the pitch. The first test would take place from July 8-12 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, while the two other tests would hold at the Emirate Old Trafford on the 16th-20th and 24th-28th of July respectively.
England announced that they would be resuming activities that would include sports on June 1 after being on strict lockdown for several months. England has had more cases and deaths than the West Indies and had to adopt very tough measures to get things under control.
The test series would only hold upon final approval by the UK government, despite all the safety measures in place. This includes the players arriving in England by a chartered flight and staying together in the same venue all through the seven weeks they would be in England. The players would also be tested for COVID-19 before embarking on the flight.
Written by: Leon Osamor