Three Windies players refuse to travel for England series: Report
There was good news for cricket fans as it was announced that England will host the West Indies for a three-match Test series behind-closed-doors. The series is slated to begin from July 8 as cricket returns for the first time after Covid-19 pandemic had postponed all cricketing activities from March-end. The matches will be held at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl and Lancashire’s Emirates Old Trafford. These two venues have been chosen as bio-secure venues.
The West Indies squad will arrive in the UK on Tuesday 9 June, travelling to Emirates Old Trafford for quarantining and training. This will be their base for a three-week period before moving to the Ageas Bowl for the start of the first Test.
However, it was reported that few players from the West Indies team have refused to travel. All cricket remains suspended since March in the wake of coronavirus pandemic and the England-West Indies series is likely to kickstart the sport worldwide.
Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) selection panel on Wednesday named a fourteen (14) man Test squad and list of eleven (11) reserves for the proposed tour of England.
CWI in a release said: “Subject to the final approval of the UK Government, the West Indies will defend the Wisden Trophy in three back-to-back Test matches to be played behind closed doors, starting on July 8. The touring party, who will all be tested for COVID-19 this week, are scheduled to fly to England on private charters on June 8.
“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 two newcomers to the Test squad are middle-order batsman Nkrumah Bonner and fast bowler Chemar Holder. The 22-year-old Holder – who is not related to captain Jason Holder – was the leading fast bowler in the West Indies Championship with 36 wickets in eight matches at 18.91 each, and was one of the successful ICC U-19 World Cup winning side in 2016.
“Bonner, 31, will be making his Test squad debut after being one of the leading batsmen in the 2020 West Indies Championship with 523 runs in seven matches at an average of 58.11. He has previously represented the West Indies when he played two T20 Internationals back in 2011 and 2012.”
England’s three-Test series against West Indies will begin on July 8 at the Ageas Bowl, followed by two Tests at Old Trafford on July 16 and July 24, subject to UK government clearance to return behind closed doors.
“The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has today (Tuesday) announced that Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl and Lancashire’s Emirates Old Trafford will host England Men’s Test series against West Indies if international cricket returns behind closed doors in July,” the statement on ECB’s official website said.
“The West Indies squad will arrive in the UK on Tuesday 9 June, travelling to Emirates Old Trafford for quarantining and training. This will be their base for a three-week period before moving to the Ageas Bowl for the start of the first Test,” it added.
The two venues were selected because they are deemed to be bio-secure because of on-site hotels.
ECB Director of Events, Steve Elworthy -- who is leading on English cricket’s bio-secure operational plans -- added: “Our main objective is to deliver a safe environment for all stakeholders including players, match officials, operational staff, essential venue staff, broadcasters and media.
“We are in daily dialogue with government and our medical team, who have been incredibly supportive during this period. These are our proposed dates and they remain subject to UK Government approval.”
Squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach.
Reserves: Sunil Ambris, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shane Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican.
(with IANS inputs)