Why-three-West-Indies-players-will-not-travel-to-England

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England’s Joe Root shakes hands with West Indies’ Shannon Gabriel after a past match. [File]

Veteran batsman Darren Bravo is among three West Indies cricketers to turn down a chance to tour England to play three back-to-back Tests in July, Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced yesterday.

“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,” CWI said in a statement.

“As previously stated, CWI will not hold this decision against these players when considering future selection.”

Jason Holder will skipper a 14-man Test squad that features two debutants in middle-order batsman Nkrumah Bonner and fast bowler Chemar Holder.

The Test series, rescheduled because of the coronavirus outbreak, is to be played behind closed doors and is still subject to the final approval of the British government, CWI added.

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.

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The West Indies squad will live, train and play in a “bio-secure” environment during the seven weeks of the tour, as part of the comprehensive medical and operations plans to ensure player and staff safety, CWI said.

The bio-secure protocols will restrict movement in and out of the venues, so the selection panel has also named a list of 11 reserve players who will travel to train and help prepare the Test squad and ensure replacements are available in case of any injury.

“The new cricketing environment will take some getting used to,” said CWI chief selector Roger Harper.

“However, being in England and working together for four weeks before the first Test will give the squad the opportunity to get acclimatised and hopefully, mentally and technically adjusted to the demands of the new environment.”

Harper added: “I think we have a squad that will be very competitive. More than half of the squad were involved in the victorious Test series against England in the Caribbean last year so they will bring that experience.”

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