Won’t force players to tour England, says Windies skipper Holder

West Indies was originally scheduled to play the Test series from June 4 but the fixture had to be postponed due to the virus outbreak.

Jason Holder

West Indies captain Jason Holder reiterated that health and safety will be the first priority.   -  Getty Images

West Indies captain Jason Holder has said he won’t force his players into travelling to England for a three-Test series amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

West Indies was originally scheduled to play the Test series from June 4 but the fixture had to be postponed due to the virus outbreak.

However, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) hopes it can kickstart the season by rescheduling the series for July.

“Each player has to be comfortable in making the step. It’s been made clear if we are to hop on a plane and go over to England to play, it must be safe,” Holder told BBC Radio 5.

“Certainly from my perspective, I won’t be forcing anyone to go anywhere,” Holder added.

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Last week, ECB director Ashley Giles said they have to create an environment where West Indies and Pakistan both feel safe while travelling to the United Kingdom. He assured that a complete risk assessment would be done before taking the plunge.

“We’ve been given assurances from Cricket West Indies that we’d only go over to England if they deem it safe for us to play,” Holder said.

“It’s no different from a frontline worker going into a hospital every day - they’re putting their lives at risk, and still going to make money. The longer we stay off the field, the longer it’ll take for us to make money,” he added.

The 28-year-old reiterated that health and safety will be the first priority.

“The first priority is everybody’s safety,” said Holder.

“We’ve been assured that the only way the tour can possibly go ahead is if everyone can be comfortable with the measures the ECB are putting in place to roll cricket out,” he added.

England cricketers are returning to limited individual training starting this week.

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