Sunday 12 July, 2020

West Indies and England hold 'positive' talks on rescheduling tour

West Indies Test cricketers.

West Indies Test cricketers.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are continuing to have discussion about rescheduling their forthcoming series.

The Caribbean side was due to arrive in the United Kingdom this month ahead of a three-Test tour, but the series has now been delayed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The English season is currently on hold, with no cricket planned before July 1 and the ECB is working on contingency plans to try and fulfil its international fixtures once lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Representatives from England and West Indies were involved in a video conference on Friday.

England Test captain Joe Root and coach Chris Silverwood took part in the video conference with their West Indies counterparts, Jason Holder and Phil Simmons.

ESPNcricinfo reported that "positive ongoing discussions with the ECB and CWI continued on Friday. Both boards were represented including captains, coaches, administrators and the chief medical officers from the respective boards.

"Discussions were wide-ranging including dialogue around revised schedules and COVID-19 medical and biosecurity planning.

"Meetings will be ongoing over the next few months to reach an outcome of when international cricket could potentially return. This is a long and detailed process and is very much in the early stages of planning. The guidance from the government will emphasise what we can do."

ESPNcricinfo also reported that CWI has also kept the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) in the loop on the England tour.

In a recent interview, Holder said that all sides were involved in a "waiting game" but hopeful of a positive outcome despite ongoing worries about the coronavirus.

"We're still sitting back and waiting. I just think it's a situation where we're all monitoring the situation over in England, particularly in Europe as well," Holder said. "I've seen a few things in other sports where they've pushed the schedules back and not having fans … but it's a waiting game. We can only sit tight and hope and pray we resume some type of normalcy in the not-too-distant future.

"This thing has been really, really serious, as we all know, and has claimed quite a few lives throughout the world, and that's the last thing any of us would really want. I think we've got to play the safety card first before we can even think about resuming our normal lives."

The virus has killed more than 238,000 people worldwide, including more than 65,000 in the United States and more than 20,000 each in Italy, Britain and France, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University. 

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