‘Keemo Paul, Shimron Hetmyer, Darren Bravo concerned about families’: Cricket West Indies on why trio refused to tour England
Cricket West Indies Chief executive Johnny Grave revealed why Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul have refused to tour England net month. The three centrally contracted all-format players were expected to be in the team for the series against England next month, but until it was reported earlier this week that they have refused to come on the tour. Speaking in an interview, CWI chief Grave said that he understands the reasons cited by the players.
“Keemo Paul is the sole breadwinner in his entire household and wider family. He was really concerned if something happened to him how his family would cope,” Grave told ESPNCricinfo.
“He wrote passionately about how hard a decision it was for him and how much he loves playing for West Indies, but with consultation with his family he doesn’t feel he can leave them and doesn’t want to go on the tour,” he said.
Speaking about Hetmyer, who has become a regular in the team since his debut in 2017, Grave said that he too wrote in an email that he “didn’t feel comfortable from a safety point of view, leaving his home, leaving his family and heading over to England”. Grave added that BRavo also said that he was not comfortable about leaving his young family and travel to UK, where there are over 2.70 lakh coronavirus cases.
“He also mentioned he made his decision with great remorse as it was always a huge honour for him to play for West Indies,” Grave said. “So, yes, perfectly valid reasons and the ones that we fully respect. We were never going to force or try to coerce and we didn’t ask them to reconsider.”
”Grave said their decision will not be held against the trio as the board too wants players who don’t have any “nagging doubts” about the tour. “It is in everyone’s interest if you are not comfortable to say so and not tour and be certain that it is not going to be held against you. Rather than go, be worried, and ultimately don’t perform or want to come home. So it is a good decision all round. We are still taking a strong Test side to England,” he said.
A 25-member Caribbean team will be arriving next Tuesday in England in chartered flights for the three-match Test series, beginning July 8. The series to be held in a bio-secure environment is likely to mark the restart of international cricket, which was shut down in March following the health crisis.
(With PTI inputs)