Cricket West Indies have gone through the process of selecting the 30 players for the tour of England to play a 3 Test match series, which is yet to be formally confirmed. The tour was originally scheduled to start on June 4, but has been postponed until July due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the CWI and England and Wales Cricket Board are trying to work out the day-to-day execution and cricket operations for the tour to go ahead.
Johnny Grave, CEO of Cricket West Indies, has said that their players will require undergoing a 14 day quarantine once they reach the United Kingdom. He said, “We fully expect the quarantine for two weeks, but within our discussions with the ECB we would expect to be in a facility that allows us to train outdoors, so we’re talking about cricket venues that have hotel accommodation on the site, and therefore the entire practice facility, as well as hotel accommodation, would be in a bio-secure environment.”
“There are several areas to be covered and several elements to this ongoing situation, so we want to make sure all aspects of our preparations are in place, whilst the ECB develop their plans and await UK Government approval for the tour to go ahead. We want to share all the information we have with the players and staff so that everyone understands what a bio-secure tour might look like. Player and staff safety is of utmost importance and we will take the advice of those with expertise in these areas before seeking board’s approval for the tour to be confirmed.”
The board has also asked the contracted players to carry on with their training and fitness routines. The English Cricketers will resume the first phase of individual skills-based training over the next few weeks as well.
While the tour could be the welcome return of international cricket, Grave has already made it clear the players won’t be ‘coerced’ to tour England. In an earlier interview to BBC, Grave said, “There will be no coercing players into this tour. 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.”
“We have to be absolutely clear that it’s safe first and foremost. The ECB have got a long way to go to get UK government approval to be absolutely certain that biosecure cricket will work.”