CWI open to Windies players ‘quarantined’ for England tour
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Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave
Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave

(CMC) – Cricket West Indies (CWI) is open to West Indies players being quarantined for the tour of England to come off, but it would want four weeks of preparation and has outlined that and other considerations to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

That confirmation came Tuesday from CWI CEO Johnny Grave who said the ECB would report next Monday, May 18, on their proposals for the tour going forward.

West Indies were scheduled to begin a three-Test tour of England on June 4 but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a postponement. No new date has been announced but media reports have indicated that the ECB is looking at July 8 for the start of the series.

Monday’s virtual meeting between the ECB and CWI will come a week after the United Kingdom government released a document entitled ‘Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy’ which stated that sport behind closed doors for broadcast could resume on June 1.

“In light of what UK government announced a day or so ago, we expect to hear from the ECB in terms of much more progress in developing their plan for what would be, in their opinion, a safe tour,” Grave said on the Mason and Guest radio show here on Tuesday night.

“Obviously, the first thing that the ECB needs to get is the UK government clearance on that tour and then it will be for us to consider the plan, consult with the players and ultimately get a decision from our board of directors whether to go through with that tour or not.”

Grave said the West Indies has not set a deadline for the ECB to decide on its end whether the tour is still possible. However, he said there are some specific arrangements which need to be made.

“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,” he said.

“We’ve said to the ECB we want four weeks minimum, from landing, to prepare and to acclimatise and get used to the conditions. Obviously, that would involve testing and quarantine as well. So, there’s really no deadline from us, as it’s very much an England home tour. Any deadlines would really be dictated by the ECB and their calendar,” added Grave who said he was hopeful the series would be held.

CWI chief selector Roger Harper who also appeared on Mason and Guest, said thought was being given to the composition of a squad for the series.
“We’ve contacted a number of players to tell them that there’s a possibility that this tour could be on, keep yourself in shape and that you’ll be considered,” he said.

The ECB announced late last month that no professional cricket will be played in England and Wales until at least July 1, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It said the start of the season remained subject to ongoing advice from government and health experts, and continued consultation with all broadcast partners to determine the optimum way to fulfil fixtures both domestically and internationally.

Apart from hosting West Indies, England are scheduled to play Pakistan, Australia and Ireland this summer.

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