Negotiations to finalise and confirm the West Indies’ proposed tour of England in July are building momentum.
Given the unprecedented challenges faced across the cricketing world and the postponement of many tours, Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the English Cricket Board (ECB) are nearing an agreement, which will see the three-Test series start on 8 July.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, CWI chief executive Johnny Grave stated his optimism about the two boards’ collective plan of assuring a strictly safe environment.
‘We are in the final stages of discussions with the ECB and they are in the final stages of finalising their plans in order to get the UK government and ECB board support,’ said Grave.
The original series was due to start at The Oval on the 4 June but was postponed in April as the ECB decided to delay its summer season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Similar to the approach announced by the Pakistan Cricket Board last week, the West Indies will also likely move into a bio-secure bubble prior to their departure for the UK, with Grave saying they are planning to spend four weeks preparing in the UK before the first Test.
‘We are expecting to get a formal offer to tour England probably by the end of the month so that we can get our board’s approval and the players can potentially leave the region [the Caribbean] in early June.
‘The working plan involves taking a 25-player squad to the UK. That would comprise the official Test squad of 15 players and 10 reserves. Our players and support staff who we have met with [on conference calls] are beginning to understand what a seven-week tour behind closed doors might look like.
‘Good progress is being made and we are getting closer to that final plan for our board to effectively sign off on the tour and ask the selectors to choose the squad and the players to confirm their participation,’ explained Grave.
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