Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul declined an invitation to be part of the West Indies squad to travel to England in July, with Nkrumah Bonner and Chemar Holder winning their first call-ups.
Jermaine Blackwood, the middle-order batsman who made his maiden Test run against England in 2015, and left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer were also in the 14-man squad, while Shannon Gabriel, Sunil Ambris and Oshane Thomas was named to the 11 reserve players.
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The 25-year traveling party will fly to England on June 8 on private charts, after being tested for Covid-19, and will spend three weeks staying in quarantine at Emirates Old Trafford and training on arrival. They will then travel to the Ageas Bowl to practice the first Test, before returning to Old Trafford for the second and third Tests.
The series, which now requires final approval from the UK government, marked the continuation of international cricket that was abruptly stopped in March due to pandemics. It is understood that Cricket West Indies (CWI) expects test results for traveling players returning Friday from Miami. Anyone who tests positive will not take a charter flight.
The West Indies spend seven weeks in England, despite the fact that it will only take 15 days to play, but throughout this season it will be a squad, as CWI said in a media release on Wednesday, “live, train and play “in a bio-safe environment.
“It’s a big sacrifice that we are being asked to make to make this series sustainable. It’s going to be tough for them. It’s not a fun tour.”
Wayne Lewis, secretary of WIPA
With regard to Bravo, Hetmyer and Paul choosing, the CWI said their decision would not count as a black mark against their names. “The CWI completely respects their decision to choose to do so. As previously stated, the CWI will not hold this decision against the players when considering future selection.
Former West Indies offspinner Roger Harper, chair of the selections, said Holder was leading a “very competitive squad”, half of which featured in a home series win against England last year. “So they will bring that experience, the knowledge and belief that they have and marry it with the enthusiasm and enthusiasm of the newcomers,” Harper said in a CWI release.
“The experience of players who have toured England before 2017 will also benefit the squad. I hope the bowling unit will once again pose a serious challenge for England and our batting will bring England a tough team when playing. However, in my opinion, the West Indies have a good chance of retaining the Wisden Trophy. We need to be consistently good at doing so. “
A key player in the West Indies winner of the 2019 Wisden Trophy at home is Gabriel, who has not been featured since September of last year after undergoing ankle surgery in November. However, after a six-month rehabilitation recently Gabriel said he was positive to return to the full rotation tour of England.
Harper, too, remained optimistic about the strike, saying he was working backwards throughout the fitness match. “The four weeks leading up to the first Test will be a huge benefit to him. A perfect fit and firing on Shannon adds great bowling attack ability, so it’s important to get him back to his best.”
The selection of Chemar Holder, Bonner and Blackwood is a clear indication that Harper’s panel has given attention to success in domestic cricket. All three players were top performers in the four-day West Indies Championship, which had to be called after eight out of 10 rounds in March. Holder, who was part of the West Indies’ 2016 Under-19 World Cup winning team, was top wicket-taker among the seamers in the regional competition this season with 36 victims on average 18.9.
For Bonner, 31, this is the first time he has returned to the colors of the West Indies playing in his last two T20Is in 2012. Bonner, who plays for Jamaica, is the fourth highest run-getter in the regional semifinals with 523 runs in seven matches at an average of 58.11. His Jamaican teammate Blackwood was the top run-maker in the tournament with 768 runs at 51.20.
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“Chemar Holder is an exciting young fast bowling talent heading into a great domestic first-class season,” Harper said. “He should enjoy bowling in English conditions. He can prove a true asset to the England team. Nkrumah Bonner is an indefinable character. His ability to handle doubles and bat by tight situations can serve the team well.
“Jermaine Blackwood returns with the sheer weight of performance in the domestic first-class season. His patience and application are evident and result in even greater consistency that I expect him to return to the Test arena. His playing experience. Test cricket in England should stand him in good stead. Raymon Reifer has been around for a long time and has proven to be a true competitor with both bat and ball – qualities that will add immense value to the team. “
‘Not a fun tour’
Wayne Lewis, secretary of the West Indies Player Association (WIPA) said the players were upset, but they were confident of hearing the steps taken by the ECB and CWI to ensure their safety.
“They were a little nervous, but when it was shown to them and spread to them exactly how the protocol would go in terms of being in the bubble (they were fine),” Lewis told ESPNcricinfo. “They have to make sacrifices because they will not be allowed to leave their hotel. They cannot go shopping, go to parties, visit anyone, receive guests.
“When they are not at the hotel they are on the cricket ground. When they are not on the cricket ground they are back at the hotel. This is a big question. Great sacrifices are being made to facilitate this series. It will be tough on them. is not a happy tour. But they understand that. “
West Indies squad to tour England: Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Jason Holder (captain), Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach
Reserve players: Sunil Ambris, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shane Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican