'West Indies players will not be coerced to tour England' - CWI chief executive
Johnny Grave, Cricket West Indies chief executive, has clarified that players from the Caribbean will not be compelled to tour England during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Grave admitted the alarming death toll in the UK owing to the COVID-19 pandemic was bound to cause reservations among the travelling players. He hinted that a "wide pool" of players had already been consulted for the tour.
"There will be no coercing players into this tour," Grave told BBC Radio.
"If you grow up in a country where the population might only be 60,000 or 70,000 people, to be thinking the UK has had over 30,000 deaths is a massive figure."
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is currently focused on the development of bio-secure venues to eliminate the risk of spreading the virus. All competitive matches are expected to be held behind closed doors considering the present grim situation.
Grave shed light on the long process of convincing the UK government regarding the staging of international matches.
"The ECB have got a long way to go to get UK government approval to be absolutely certain that bio-secure cricket will work," he said.
Grave also spoke on the issue of the West Indies players being forced to spend an extended time period in isolation to protect them from the hazards of exposure to the virus.
CWI faces another challenge of getting players of different nationalities together on "one plane" amidst these uncertain times before the tour.
"The players would be very much in a bubble," he said.
"We said to the ECB we'd want four weeks of preparation before the first Test. We're probably looking at three back-to-back Test matches.
"It would be seven weeks of very much training at the ground, staying at the ground and very much being isolated within that hotel environment."