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‘No coercing players into England tour’, says CWI chief ahead of biosecure series

by Wisden Staff 1 minute read

Cricket West Indies chief executive officer Johnny Grave has said that West Indies players will not be persuaded or forced against their will to tour England for a three-Test series that is scheduled to take place in July.

West Indies were originally set to travel to the UK in June, but the ban on sports imposed in the wake of Covid-19 has seen the series pushed back to July, by when the ECB is hopeful of restarting cricket in a biosecure environment.
Grave acknowledged that there is still a long way to go before the ECB gets permission from the government for a resumption of cricket, but said that if it does resume, the players will not be forced to travel against their wishes.
“There will be no coercing players into this tour,” Grave told BBC. “If you grow up in a country where the population might only be 60,000 or 70,000 people, to be thinking the UK has had over 30,000 deaths is a massive figure.

“We have to be absolutely clear that it’s safe first and foremost. The ECB have got a long way to go to get UK government approval to be absolutely certain that biosecure cricket will work.”

Grave said that even if the tour does go ahead, movements will be massively restricted, with players keeping themselves within the confines of the grounds, training facilities and hotel rooms.

“The players would be very much in a bubble,” Grave said. “We said to the ECB we’d want four weeks of preparation before the first Test. We’re probably looking at three back-to-back Test matches. It would be seven weeks of very much training at the ground, staying at the ground and very much being isolated within that hotel environment.”

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