For the West Indies gamers and assist workers who arrived within the UK on Tuesday morning (June 9), that is going to be a tour like no different.
The preparations put in place by the ECB to cut back the danger that anybody concerned within the three Take a look at sequence starting subsequent month catches Covid-19 are in depth and essentially restrictive. Whereas the West Indies travelled to Pakistan in 2018 and have been confined for safety causes to inns and cricket grounds, as they are going to be in England, the well being and medical measures in place for this tour add a brand new, and probably daunting, dimension to proceedings.
“It isn’t going to be the conventional bilateral sequence however that is the place we’re with the state of the world,” Jason Holder stated on a zoom name with journalists from his lodge room at Outdated Trafford on Wednesday (June 10). “It’s totally different, little question it will likely be totally different. However we’ve got simply obtained to get on with it and attempt to profit from the circumstances in these making an attempt occasions.”
The West Indies’ journey to the UK and their first 24 hours in Manchester have definitely been totally different. Two constitution planes picked up members of the touring celebration from the assorted Caribbean islands forward of Monday night’s (June 8) flight to the UK from V.C. Chicken Worldwide Airport in Antigua. A non-public jet picked up Oshane Thomas, the fast-bowler, and John Campbell, the opener, from Jamaica and the pair posted Instagram tales of them having fun with a couple of drinks to mark the start of a voyage into the unknown.
On Tuesday morning, the squad arrived at a cloudy and chilly Manchester airport on one other constitution aircraft and disembarked by way of a personal terminal, away from most people. Sporting face masks, the gamers and assist workers then boarded three coaches so they may observe social distancing on the journey to Outdated Trafford. “Arriving right here yesterday in Manchester was fairly clean,” Holder stated. “We had no actual interface with anybody from the general public.”
The UK authorities has mandated that each one arrivals from abroad should observe a 14 day quarantine interval. There isn’t any dispensation to this requirement for the West Indies squad and they are going to be primarily based at Emirates Outdated Trafford throughout this era, staying within the 150 room Hilton Backyard Inn lodge on web site. Facilities on the lodge embrace The Backyard Grille Restaurant and Bar and a health club.
The West Indies have the unique use of the lodge and the gamers and workers will not be allowed any entry to the surface world. They can’t go away Outdated Trafford nor have deliveries or guests going into the venue with out the specific permission of the ECB’s medical group and Public Well being England. Social distancing and hygiene measures can be in place always and an ECB liaison officer can be current to supply assist.
All members of the travelling celebration had examined detrimental for Covid-19 earlier than leaving the Caribbean however they have been additionally examined as quickly as they arrived at Outdated Trafford. They’ve needed to stay of their lodge rooms till the outcomes of these exams come again, anticipated to be on Thursday morning. If anybody does check optimistic, they are going to be remoted from the remainder of the group for a time period. Every squad member can be examined twice every week for the subsequent three weeks.
Given the restrictions on motion, passing the time goes to be a problem. A group room has been arrange in The Level, the large, purple, trendy trying constructing that stands one aspect of the standard Outdated Trafford pavilion. It has been geared up with desk tennis stations, previous fashion arcade laptop recreation consoles, a golf simulator, desk soccer and a large inflatable pool desk with footballs used for balls.
“Within the subcontinent, you do not try this a lot shifting round, you keep within the lodge” Holder stated. “I just about class it as a subcontinent tour. Gamers take care of it otherwise. Gamers are into video games, TV reveals. The amenities are right here for us to coach and exercise. We’ve obtained a couple of choices. With all of the assets that we’ve got, we’re simply going to should make it work. It may very well be the brand new norm for some time.”
The gamers can no less than prepare, bodily and talent sensible, throughout the quarantine interval, permitting the West Indies almost 4 weeks to organize for the primary Take a look at towards England which is able to start on the Ageas Bowl on July 8. Social distancing can be in place for all apply periods, saliva can’t be used on the balls and initially solely small teams will be capable of prepare collectively, much like how the England squad have been practising over the previous few weeks.
As soon as the 14 day interval is accomplished, West Indies will play two intra-squad apply matches between the 25 gamers dropped at the UK. There can be a three-day recreation, adopted by a two day break, after which a four-day recreation earlier than they journey to Southampton. The West Indies will arrive on the Ageas Bowl 4 days earlier than the primary Take a look at the place they are going to be primarily based on the lodge on web site with the England squad. By then, they’ll be capable of prepare in bigger teams.
At fourteen robust, the West Indies’ assist workers is greater than it has ever been for an abroad journey, partly due to the bigger squad of 25 and partly within the expectation that there could be extra well-being or medical assist required throughout the seven week tour.
Other than Phil Simmons’s teaching group, Dr Praimanand Singh, the group physician, can be supported by two physiotherapists, two therapeutic massage therapists, a energy and conditioning coach and Donald LaGuerre, the group’s psychologist. As well as, the West Indies could have entry to ECB medical personnel as vital.
Regardless of the apparent challenges, Holder is filled with reward for the way clean the preparations have gone up to now and is trying ahead to getting again on the sphere and making an attempt to defend the Wisden Trophy which West Indies received final 12 months within the Caribbean. “We have all decided to return over right here, not been pressured, and we have carried out it as a result of we wish to be right here, we wish to play cricket,” Holder stated.
“We have [been] assured that the measures put in place are going to be carried out to a T to make us really feel that rather more comfy in what we’re doing. And once more I have to commend the ECB as a result of every thing up to now has been rolled out completely. We’re comfortable to be right here. Personally comfortable to be taking part in some cricket, not many different nations are. I believe we must always relish the chance.
“Many organisations all over the world have taken pay cuts. We’ve abruptly obtained a chance now to make cash so quite a lot of issues to be grateful for. Within the context of the state of affairs we’ve got simply obtained to verify we realise the chance and seize it with each palms.”