CWI CEO Johnny Grave says players won't be "coerced" to tour England amidst COVID-19 threat

Grave said it would be a challenge to bring players from different islands amid the restrictions.

West Indies had originally been scheduled to play the three Tests in June in England | Getty Images

Cricket West Indies (CWI) Chief Executive Johnny Grave has on Thursday (May 14) made it clear that the national players will not be “coerced” into touring England for a three-match Test series if they are reluctant to do so because of the Coronavirus fears.

England is considering using the bio-secure venues to host West Indies for three Tests which, were originally scheduled to play in June but the series had been postponed to July due to the global Coronavirus outbreak, at the empty stadiums apart from Pakistan series.

Read Also: ECB joins forces with UK government for cricket's safe resumption 

As Britain struggles to contain the spread of the COVID-19 with the death toll crossing the 30000-mark till now, West Indies players are yet to agree to the England tour and Grave said the CWI will not force anyone to go on the tour amid the Coronavirus threat.

The official further revealed that the board consulted with a "wide pool" of players and none of them would be obliged to the England tour.

Grave told the BBC on Thursday, “There will be no coercing players into this tour. 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.”

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He continued, “We have to be absolutely clear it’s safe first and foremost. The ECB has got a long way to go to get government approval to be absolutely certain that bio-secure cricket will work. The players would be very much in a bubble. 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.”

Grave signed off by saying, “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.”

(With Reuters Inputs)


By Rashmi Nanda - 14 May, 2020

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