It’s been four days since West Indies started its training session at the Old Trafford in Manchester in a bio-secured environment. The first Test against England, which begins on July 8, is still a couple of weeks away, but with Britain grappling with coronavirus, the players can’t venture out.
They are at the on-site team hotel.
Head coach Phil Simmons agreed that it’s not easy to be indoors all day, but then, there is hardly a choice. “The biggest challenge is boredom,” Simmons said during an interaction on Saturday.
Once training is over, the West Indies players are keeping themselves busy with indoor games such as dominoes, cards. “There’s always dominoes, if you have been to the Caribbean that is a highly explosive form of entertainment, especially when you are playing Six Love,” he said.
The team also has a golf simulation centre. “We have cards, a few things the guys are enjoying,” Simmons said.
Captain Jason Holder wants to ensure that the players remain in good spirits.
Two days ago, West Indies pace ace Kemar Roach had told Sportstar that “being in your room a lot more than usual is probably a little more taxing on the brain.” But he also admitted that they are in England for cricket, and that’s the priority.
Even Simmons admitted that the players are “hungry” to resume cricket. “They want to play and practice,” the coach said. Before getting into real action, the touring team will play squad games; a three-day game, starting from June 22, followed by a four-day tie from June 29. Those games will actually give West Indies a reality check on where it stands, ahead of the series.
Simmons, however, does not see the ban on saliva as a major impediment to bowling attacks as the players can still use sweat, which would eventually, help the bowlers. The seasoned coach is also confident that if Shannon Gabriel can prove his fitness, he is in contention for a berth in the playing eleven.
With Dwayne Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul pulling out of the England tour, the coach believes that this is the ‘best possible’ squad.
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