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Confident That England Tour Will Happen, Hope to Leave in Early June: CWI Chief Grave

Confident That England Tour Will Happen, Hope to Leave in Early June: CWI Chief Grave

Cricket West Indies chief executive Johnny Grave has said they are in the 'final stages' of discussions with the ECB over the tour of England in July.

Cricket West Indies chief executive Johnny Grave has said they are in the 'final stages' of discussions with the ECB over the tour of England in July.

Grave said he's confident the tour will happen 'at some point' and hoped the team would leave West Indies in early June so that they can complete their quarantine protocol before beginning the series in a biosecure environment.

"From where we sit at the moment, based on the information we have, based on the fact that every day there are less and less cases in the UK everyone is getting increasingly confident that the tour will happen at some point," he told ESPNcricinfo. "Our board meeting is on May 28. If the tour has to take place, by the start of June we would need to have the board approval and support by then in order to get the charter flight logistics in place and select the players.

"We are in the final stages of discussions with the ECB and they are in the final stages of finalising their plans in order to get the UK government and ECB board support. We are expecting to get a formal offer to tour England probably by the end of the month so that we can get our board's approval and the players can potentially leave the region in early June."

Grave said the two boards are working on playing three Tests, each starting July 8, July 16 and July 24 respectively. While the venues haven't been finalised, Grave said the 25-member squad would leave for England in the week starting June 8.

"The ECB have got more confident that they've got a robust and safe plan to deal with cricket in a biosecure environment behind closed doors. Our medical team are getting more confident and comfortable with those plans.

"Our players and support staff who we have met with are beginning to understand what a seven-week tour behind closed doors might look like. And the operations team are getting the logistics together for flying everyone from across the Caribbean to probably Antigua to then depart to the UK on a private team charter. So yes, good progress is being made and we are getting closer to that final plan for our board to effectively sign off on the tour and ask the selectors to choose the squad and the players to confirm their participation."

Recently, West Indies Test captain Jason Holder said he wouldn't force anyone to tour England if they have fears. Grave conceded players and support staff have apprehensions, but stressed none have opted out of selection.

"There is player and support staff apprehension. There is apprehension about leaving their families for seven weeks. There is apprehension about moving into a biosecure cricket ground for the first time. There is apprehension about travelling on planes and going to the UK, which has had so many cases," he said.

"Also some apprehension around getting back to the Caribbean around what the quarantine requirements may be in their home countries. It is such a dynamic situation, but we hope that if they were tested prior to their departure of the UK and if they need be tested again when they come back to the Caribbean that by late July, they wouldn't have to do any quarantine back here. But clearly, each Caribbean country may have different rules and restrictions so we can't be certain at this stage. So there is some fear and apprehension, not just about leaving the Caribbean to go on the tour but also getting back home to be reunited with their loved ones.

"Players have concerns, but certainly I have had no feedback that a player has said, based on what we know now and what we have shared, that they won't tour. No-one has directly come out and said they won't tour, but we haven't formally asked them yet."



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking