Cricket West Indies has made its first move for a three-Test series in England in July. However, the tour in July will only be possible with the financial support from the England and Wales Cricket Board.
West Indies were originally scheduled to play the series in England during June. However, the series was put off due to novel coronavirus pandemic and poor financial health of Cricket West Indies, which was reportedly not in a position to foot the bill for the team’s tour to England.
According to reports, West Indies Cricket is fully relying on ECB for expenses to tour England for three Tests. West Indies, already reeling under financial pressure due to Covid-19, might still not go ahead with the tour if monetary support does not come from the ECB.
The present lockdown period in England will be over by June 1 and ECB is expecting cricket action to be back by July with adequate safety measures and protocols in place.
Anticipating the series in July, the West Indies Cricket Board has named 30 players to start build up for the tour of England. CEO Johnny Grave, however, has reportedly that the final squad might still have players from outside the shortlisted 30.
West Indies are also prepared for a two-week quarantine on arrival. But the ECB has been asked to provide necessary training facilities. “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 indoors, so we are 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.” Grave said in a statement.
“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.” Grave added further.
Understandably, it is far from easy to conduct an international cricket series, considering the present situation. The same the West Indies Cricket Board admits while they are carefully considering every element in question. At the same time, Cricket West Indies also await the English board to plan out and secure their government’s approval for the green signal of the tour. Hence, it is crucial to be transparent with everything so that the proceedings takes place safely.
Coronavirus has claimed over 27,000 lives in England from among the more 132,000 infected Englishmen.
There are not certain dates announced for resumption of sports in England. Hence, despite all the efforts and assurances by the Cricket West Indies, the tour finally be subject to the ECB securing mandatory nod from the England Government.