In touring England for three Test matches in July, West Indies played their part in saving the international summer in UK at the height of COVID-19 pandemic. Wishing for the much-appreciated effort to be rewarded, head coach Phil Simmons believes it's now three lions' job to return the favour by touring the Caribbean at some stage in near future.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had "projected losses up to losses of up to $491 million if no cricket was played during the summer", states a report by Reuters. The possibility had risen due to the sheer number of positive cases and deaths the UK was experiencing back then.
It wasn't until West Indies agreed to visit did the ECB breathe a sigh of relief, as the effective testing of bio-secure arrangements for the Test series also made other touring teams like Pakistan, Ireland and Australia agree to complete their scheduled assignments.
"England know that at some point they will have to give us back something," Simmons told the BBC. "I think there has been a lot of dialogue between our top brass and the English top brass so I’m sure something is being put in place."
While tours from England have always been of economic significance for the Caribbean, Simmons believes it's just that more important for them to come forward and help this time when their counterparts are going through a financial crisis.
Cricket West Indies (CWI), which would've ideally hosted New Zealand, South Africa in the summer and made some money out of it, had to halve the salaries of staff and players in July for up to six months.
"I think all the countries below the top three (England, Australia and India) need some sort of assistance,” said Simmons. "It’s similar to the Premier League looking to help the EFL."
A spokesperson for the ECB told Reuters that they are absolutely keen to ensure the CWI remains afloat. But a tour by the national men's side is unlikely till early 2022 when they are next due to visit those shores.
"While the current international calendar doesn’t allow us to travel to the West Indies before our next scheduled visit in early 2022, we are currently in discussion with them about expanding this tour to include additional games," said the spokesperson.