Port of Spain: The cricket team of West Indies started to England for a 3-test tournament in English land. The entire team set out from Antigua while all of them had been tested Covid negative. Earlier on Monday, two planes collected players from various islands in the West Indies and they joined a private charter which is due to arrive in Manchester on Wednesday morning.
The officials of the West Indies team released a statement on Monday that, on arrival at Old Trafford, Manchester, the entire team will be quarantined and tested. Only after finding all players Covid negative, the seven-week tournament will commence. During the entire tournament, they will live, undergo training and play in a ‘bio-secure’ environment. The West Indies team has released their departure on their official twitter:
The Covid protocols restrict the free movement of players and accompanies around the place. Meanwhile, a group of reserve players will travel to train and help prepare the test squad and ensure replacements are available in case of injury. There will be no audience allowed to watch the tests. The three tests are scheduled over 21 days, starting July 8 in Southampton and at Old Trafford from July 16-20 and again from July 24-28. The venues were chosen because they had hotels attached or nearby and could be turned into bio-secure environments.
The actual schedule for the England tour was scheduled for May and June, but got postponed due to the global pandemic. “This is a huge step forward in cricket and in sports in general as we travel over to England for this series,” Windies captain Jason Holder said. “A lot has gone into the preparations for what will be a new phase in the game.”
The England cricket team has, in return, posted a welcome message to the West Indies team through the official twitter:
The West Indies team has officially declared their team including the reserve players:
West Indies test 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 and Kemar Roach.
Sunil Ambris, Joshua DaSilva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas and Jomel Warrican.
Although some of the football matches have been started with tight Covid restrictions, this is the first international cricket tournament organized in accordance with the Covid protocols.