Holder will not force players to travel

Jason Holder.
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West Indies captain Jason Holder says he will not force his players to travel to England for this summer’s Tests.

The three Tests, which were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, look set to be rescheduled for July, probably in ‘bio-secure’ conditions.

“Each player has to be comfortable in making the step,” Holder told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Tuffers and Vaughan Show.

“It’s been made clear if we are to hop on a plane and go over to England to play, it must be safe.”

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in in talks with Cricket West Indies (CWI) and a new schedule could be announced by the end of May.

The discussions have involved West Indies being quarantined for 14 days upon their arrival in the UK.

After that, the series – originally scheduled to start on 4 June – is likely to be held at grounds like Old Trafford and Southampton which have hotels on site, so players can stay, train and play in a secure environment.

Almost 35,000 people in the UK have died with coronavirus, and both sets of players will be given the opportunity to opt out.

“Certainly from my perspective, I won’t be forcing anyone to go anywhere,” said 28-year-old Holder.

“We’ve been given assurances from Cricket West Indies that we’d only go over to England if they deem it safe for us to play.

“It’s no different from a frontline worker going into a hospital every day – they’re putting their lives at risk, and still going to make money. The longer we stay off the field, the longer it’ll take for us to make money.”

Last week, CWI chief executive Johnny Grave said some players will be “very nervous” about travelling, but he expects West Indies to send a full strength squad.

“The first priority is everybody’s safety,” said Holder.

“We’ve been assured that the only way the tour can possibly go ahead is if everyone can be comfortable with the measures the ECB are putting in place to roll the cricket out.” (BBC Sport)

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