St. John’s, Antigua, June 8 - (www.bcacricket.org) - The West Indies team departed from Antigua this evening for the Sandals three-match Test tour of England, having all arrived from the two chartered planes that collected the players and staff from their home countries throughout the day.
All the touring party based in the Caribbean completed their COVID-19 tests last week and all the results have been confirmed as negative. The group then travelled on a private charter which is due to arrive in Manchester on Tuesday morning.
On arrival into Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, the touring party will be tested again for COVID-19 as they begin the seven-week tour where they will live, train and play in a “bio-secure” environment, as part of the comprehensive medical and operational plans to ensure player and staff safety. The bio-secure protocols will restrict movement in and out of the venues, so a group of reserve players will travel to train and help prepare the Test squad and ensure replacements are available in case of any injury.
Meanwhile, Floyd Reifer will join the coaching staff as Batting Coach, as he fills in for Monty Desai, who is based in India and due to travel restrictions cannot join the team for this tour. A.R. Srikkanth, the Team Analyst, is also based in India and will work remotely from Bangaluru for the duration of this tour where he will continue to support the team.
Reifer, a former Barbados batsman and West Indies captain, is the current West Indies ‘A” and High-Performance Head Coach. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role having coached the West Indies team last year.
The other members of the coaching staff are Phil Simmons (Head Coach) and Roddy Estwick (Assistant Coach), and Rayon Griffith (Assistant Coach). The medical support staff are bolstered by the additions of Dr Praimanand Singh (Team Doctor), Neil Barry Jr (Physiotherapist), Nkoyo Meade (Massage Therapist) and Donald LaGuerre (Team Psychologist).
“This is a huge step forward in cricket and in sports in general as we travel over to England for this series. A lot has gone into the preparations for what will be a new phase in the game. I’m happy for the support and well-wishes we have been receiving from our loyal and dedicated fans once it was confirmed the tour would go-ahead. This has been a source of great inspiration,” said captain Jason Holder.
“We have a fantastic group of cricketers, coaches, medical staff and support staff and I know everyone is eagerly looking forward to the start of the first match when we can get back on the field of play. There is expectation in the air that we will defend the Wisden Trophy and we will certainly put in the work and give it our all to keep hold of it.”
The series will feature three back-to-back Test matches for the Wisden Trophy, starting July 8. The first Test will be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton (July 8-12) with the second and third matches at Old Trafford in Manchester from July 16-20 and then July 24-28.
Test Squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer and Kemar Roach.
Reserve Players: Sunil Ambris, Joshua DaSilva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas and Jomel Warrican.
Team Management: Phil Simmons (Head Coach), Rawl Lewis (Team Manager), Roddy Estwick (Assistant Coach), Rayon Griffith (Assistant Coach), Floyd Reifer (Batting Coach), Dr Praimanand Singh (Team Doctor), Ronald Rogers (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Denis Byam (Physiotherapist), Neil Barry Jr (Physiotherapist), Zephyrinus Nicholas (Massage Therapist), Nkoyo Meade (Massage Therapist), Donald LaGuerre (Team Psychologist), A.R. Srikkanth (Team Analyst) and Dario Barthley (Media & Content Officer).
WISDEN TROPHY MATCH SCHEDULE
July 8-12: 1st Test Match at Ageas Bowl, Southampton
July 16-20: 2nd Test Match at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
July 24-28: 3rd Test Match at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester