West Indies depart for Tour of England

The West Indies team departed from Antigua Monday evening for the Sandals Tour of England 2020.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) said the team members all arrived safely on two charter planes that collected the players and staff from their home countries throughout the day.

According to CWI, 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 will now travel on a private charter, which is due to arrive in Manchester, England this morning.

On arrival into Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, the whole 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.

“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,” he added.

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.

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