Cricket West Indies chief executive Johnny Grave has stated that the Windies will tour England this summer, but the players have concerns about the trip.
The West Indies are scheduled to play a three-match Test series against the host nation. It was originally supposed to begin in June, but the start date has now been pushed back until at least July.
Grave has been optimistic about the series taking place when talking to the BBC this week, but he still has reservations about how the players will feel.
“There will be no coercing players into this tour,” Grave said.
“If you grow up in a country where the population might only be 60,000 or 70,000 people, to be thinking the UK has had over 30,000 deaths is a massive figure.”
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has been looking into ways of staging the series, and has considered the use of quarantine for players, as well as so-called ‘biosecure’ venues for games.
Behind Closed Doors Test Matches
The Test Matches will more than likely be played behind closed doors. They may also take place at one venue, likely to be Old Trafford in Manchester or The Oval in London, to make testing players for Covid 19 simpler.
Graves confirmed that the players would be kept in a “bubble”, and that the matches would probably be played back to back.
He has also informed the ECB that the West Indies squad would need around four weeks of preparation ahead of the series.
The players would be isolated and spend their time between training facilities, the hotel and the stadium.
There are also logistical hurdles for the Windies to overcome, given that the team represents 15 countries and territories located across a wide geographical region.
Grave characterised the logistical issues as: “A logistical challenge but certainly not insurmountable.”
Earlier this week, the ECB was making plans for training for England players to resume. One-on-one net work is expected to take place, as long as players and coaches can maintain the 2m distance as per government guidelines.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan expressed concern for the players who have to perform during a strange and troubling time for the wider world.
Vaughan worried for players
“It is unprecedented times,” he said.
“It has to be done because we need the TV money for the game, but I do worry for the players.”
The president of Cricket West Indies, Rickey Skerrit, has confirmed that a strong West Indies twam will be travelling to Europe, however.
“We don’t have any benefit to gain by sending a weakened team,” Skerritt told i95.5fm in Trinidad.
England were also originally set to play against Pakistan this summer. The Pakistan Cricket Board has been more cautious about their team touring England.
They will not, though, be using the situation to exert pressure on the English to end their 15-year absence from touring Pakistan on the basis of security.