Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) has named a 14-man squad that features no Trinidadians for next month’s proposed Sandals Tour of England.
This after middle-order batsman Darren Bravo opted out of the tour, where the West Indies will be defending the Wisden Trophy in three Test matches to be played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bravo was one of three seasoned players who opted out of the tour after being contacted by the selectors, most likely due to health concerns over the virus. The other players were middle-order batsman Shimron Hetmyer and all-rounder Keemo Paul, both from Guyana.
While the CWI did not specify the reason why the players declined touring, it said Wednesday that it “fully respects their decision to choose to do so” and “will not hold this decision against these players when considering future selection.”
The squad will be led by skipper Jason Holder and includes Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, John Campbell, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph and Kemar Roach. There are two newcomers in middle-order batsman Nkrumah Bonner and fast bowler Chemar Holder.
But while no Trinidadians have made the test squad, three of them, pacers Shannon Gabriel and Anderson Phillip and wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua De Silva, have been named in a reserve team which will also travel to England. The reserves will serve to train with the Test squad and ensure that replacement players are available in case of any injuries to the first team. This measure has been put in place to protect players against the possible spread of the virus from outside contact.
The CWI added that the 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 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bio-secure protocols will restrict movement in and out of the venues.
The West Indies are scheduled to arrive in Manchester on June 9 and will be based there for three weeks before moving to Southampton for the first test at the Ageas Bowl. They will then return to Manchester for the second and third tests at Emirates, Old Trafford. All the matches are still subject to the UK government’s approval.
The CWI said the entire squad will be tested for COVID-19 this week and is scheduled to fly to England on private charters on June 8. If it goes ahead, the tour will represent the firstmajor international cricket activity since the world shut down such activity in March due to the rapid glocal spread of the virus.
WI 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, Kemar Roach.
RESERVES: Sunil Ambris, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shane Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican
PROPOSED MATCH SCHEDULE
July 8-12: 1st Test at Ageas Bowl, Southampton
July 16-20: 2nd Test at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
July 24-28: 3rd Test at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester