KINGSTON: Gearing up for a proposed tour of England in July, some members of the West Indies Test team, led by skipper Jason Holder, have returned to training in small groups following a coronavirus-forced hiatus.
Away from nets for a long period due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the players — including Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Kemar Roach, Shane Dowrich, Shamarh Brooks and Raymon Reifer — trained at the Kensington Oval behind closed doors on Monday.
“The initiative to get back to training has been given local government approval, with strict protocols of social distancing, observing the guidelines as set out by the authorities and CWI’s (Cricket West Indies) Medical Advisory Committee and was conducted behind closed doors,” the country’s cricket board said in a press release.
The players trained under the watchful eyes of West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick, as well as other coaches from the Barbados Cricket Association.
“It’s great news that the players are now able to begin their cricket training, having been restricted to fitness and conditioning work at home for the past few weeks, as we begin to prepare for defending the Wisden Trophy,” said Johnny Grave, CEO of Cricket West Indies.
CWI is holding regular discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) regarding the tour comprising three Tests and remains “increasingly confident” about it going ahead as planned.
“Based on the information we have at the moment, everyone is getting increasingly confident that the tour will happen at some point this summer,” said Johnny Grave, CEO of CWI.
“Our next Board of Directors Teleconference is on May 28; and if the tour has to take place as currently planned, by the start of June, we would need to have their approval and support by then in order to get the charter flight logistics in place and select the players.
“We are in the final stages of discussions with the ECB and we expect to hear from them shortly once their bio-secure plans have UK Government and ECB Board support.”
England players, including Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and James Anderson, too have resumed training, becoming the first set of cricketers to do so following the coronavirus break.