Three West Indies Stars Decline Joining England Tour Over Coronavirus Concerns
Three West Indies Stars are Batsmen Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer and all-rounder Keemo Paul opted out of the Windies’ 14-man squad announced today.
But Caribbean cricket chiefs insist they
“respect” the trio’s decision and no action will be taken against them.
Even England Test captain Joe Root admitted on Tuesday that it must be
“extremely scary” for West Indies players to tour here with the Covid-19 death toll still growing.
Root said: “It’s been a difficult time for everyone around the world and they are helping the game massively.
“Safety is everything and the work the ECB has done to make the bubble at the grounds as safe as possible is incredible.
“Still, it must be extremely scary and I think the whole cricketing world will be grateful to see some cricket again.”
Although the ECB would have liked a full-strength Windies squad, the primary emotions will be relief and gratitude they are coming at all.
And, do not forget, there have been times when England players have refused to tour due to safety concerns.
Captain Eoin Morgan and batsman Alex Hales did not travel to Bangladesh
for three one-day internationals in 2016 and
bowlers Robert Croft and Andy Caddick refused to tour India after the 9-11 terrorist attack in 2001.
The Windies have chosen 14 players and 11 reserves,
allowing an intra-squad game as preparation for the first of three Test matches at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl on July 8.