Eoin Morgan and Jason Holder have warned that it is “untenable” to expect players to continue to spend extended periods in lockdown as part of cricket’s response to Covid-19.
Morgan, the captain of England’s white-balls teams, and Holder, West Indies’ Test captain, are both currently in the UAE for the IPL and have endured long spells in bio-secure bubbles in order to fulfil their obligations as international and franchise players.
While both acknowledged their fortune in being able to pursue their careers at a time others were losing their jobs, they did warn that the impact on players’ mental health would result in more of them pulling out of tours as “extreme burnout” became an issue.
And talking as part of a Chance to Shine event aimed at raising funds for the charity’s Street programme, Morgan called upon spectators not to look down on anyone who felt the need to step away from the game, suggesting living in lockdown was “one of the more challenging times” he had experienced in the sport.
“We managed to fulfil all of our international fixtures for the summer,” Morgan said. “That was an unbelievable achievement for the teams that came across and the commitment the ECB showed. The level of dedication from staff involved was extraordinary. We’re extremely fortunate enough to be back playing.
“But to keep that level of bubble for a 12-month period, or 10 of the 12 months that we normally travel, I think is untenable. I don’t think it’s possible. I actually think it’s probably one of the more challenging times for anybody involved in the cricket industry.
“As a team, we’ve accepted that guys will come in and out of the bubble as they feel it’s affecting their mental health. Their health is a priority. So I do think we’ll see more players pull out of tours. That’s just the reality of things. And I don’t think people should look down on it: they shouldn’t feel like they’re not doing their job or not committing to their country.
“You can you can drill a player both mentally and physically. And it can cause extreme burnout, which nobody wants to see.
“Lockdown for us in the UK was primarily focused on physical wellbeing, but maybe that was to the detriment of mental wellbeing. We actually want to be at the forefront of making it acceptable for people to say: ‘You know what, I need to spend time with my family now. I’m going to take this tour off.’ And then they step away for a month, just because of the extraordinary circumstances.”
It was an assessment accepted by Holder. As captain of the West Indies side that toured England this summer, he led the first international team that resumed sport after the outbreak of Covid-19. But to do so, he endured weeks in partial quarantine and admitted that he was struggling with the prospect of endless months of more lockdown to come.
“It’s been demanding,” Holder agreed. “It has been challenging. I’m blessed to be still working. There are lots of people in the world not working because of Covid and we’re still given the opportunity to entertain people and do something we really love. But something needs to be thought of in order to just try to free up things a little bit more for the players’ mental health.
“I had two months in [the bubble] England. Then I was home literally for two days before I went to Trinidad [for the CPL] for a month-and-a-half. Then I spent four or five days at home in Barbados before I got a call to come over. So you’re back into isolation.
“And if you look at scheduling, it doesn’t get any easier. It’s literally going from bubble to bubble. Some places are accepting families and some aren’t. So it makes it harder to be away from your family and your loved ones. I haven’t seen Barbados properly in about five months and I don’t know when I’ll get back there.”
Cricket West Indies (CWI) today announced the two squads for the proposed tour of New Zealand which will feature three T20 Internationals and two Test matches from November 27 to December 15. Details of the tour were ratified by CWI’s Board of Directors during a teleconference on Thursday. The Board agreed to the tour in principle, subject to final details on medical and logistical protocols of CWI, New Zealand Cricket and Government of New Zealand.
In the Test squad there is a return for left-handed batsmen Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer, as well as all-rounder Keemo Paul. Bravo’s highest Test score of 218 came at the University Oval in Dunedin in 2013. A group of reserves will also travel to help prepare the Test Squad during the quarantine period and training camp as well as cover for injuries.
Andre Fletcher, the experienced wicketkeeper-batsman has been named in the T20I squad for the first time since 2018. There is a maiden call-up in this format for Kyle Mayers, the all-rounder, who performed well in last month’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
All-rounder Andre Russell and top order batsmen Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis have opted not to participate in the tour. CWI fully respects their decision to choose to do so and states that this will not impact consideration for future selection.
The CWI Selection Panel indicated this upcoming series will form part of the overall planning towards defending the ICC World T20 title. The panel outlined that they will continue to monitor closely the progress of spin bowler Sunil Narine and all other players in the lead-up to the global event.
Ground staff place covers on the pitch as rain falls during the Plunket Shield match between Wellington and Canterbury at the Basin Reserve.
Those looking to stake their claim for a place in the Black Caps’ test squad to face the West Indies were kept waiting on Monday, as rain in Hamilton and Wellington meant there was little action on the first day of the new Plunket Shield season.
Incumbent opener Tom Blundell was dismissed cheaply after Wellington were sent in by Canterbury, caught in the deep on the leg side by Matt Henry off the bowling of Ed Nuttall for 2.
Will Williams then had fellow opener Rachin Ravindra caught behind by Cam Fletcher for eight.
Newly-eligible test hopeful Devon Conway was not out on 22 and Andrew Fletcher not out on 2 when the rain arrived midway through the first session and with no further play possible, the Firebirds finished the day at 46-2.
Northern Districts were sent in by the Central Districts Stags at Seddon Park, but made a better fist of proceedings, reaching 81-0 before rain intervened during the 21st over of the day.
After a delayed start, former Black Caps opener and ND newcomer Jeet Raval made his way to 44, while Henry Cooper finished the day on 32.
Play in both matches was called off during their respective tea breaks, just before 4pm.
The third match in the opening round, between the Auckland Aces and the Otago Volts, is set to start on Tuesday at Eden Park Outer Oval.
More rain is forecast in Hamilton on Tuesday, but conditions are set to improve in the capital.
Sir Garfield St. Auburn Sobers born July 28, 1936 celebrates his 84th birthday today. Sir Garry is widely known as the greatest cricketer the world has ever seen.
The versatile Sir Garry truly excelled in everything he did on the field of play. Sir Garry was a stylish and powerful batsman, a highly skilled fielder, a bowler of great guile and was an excellent leader.
Happy Birthday to a great man!! From the Management and Staff of Kensington Oval Management Inc.
Sir Everton DeCourcey Weekes born Feb 26, 1925 in Pickwick Gap Bridgetown Barbados.
We salute you Sir Everton as an icon, a legend, a hero and a great servant to Barbados’ and West Indies’ cricket.
Sir Everton’s illustrious international cricketing career started in Jan 1948, in his back yard right here at the Historic Kensington Oval a mere 800 meters away from his childhood home. Although his career did not get off to the best of starts Sir Everton did not let that break him. He endured being booed by a Kingston Jamaica crowd, and being dropped a couple times before going on to score 5 consecutive centuries in 5 consecutive innings.
Sir Everton was a great man of grit and determination, who left an indelible mark on the cricketing landscape of the Caribbean.
On behalf of the Management and staff of Kensington Oval Management Inc. we offer our sincerest condolences to his family, friends and many fans.
The Rt. Hon Professor of Practice Owen Seymour Arthur born October 17, 1949 was a giant and titan and will forever be inscribed in the annals of Barbadian history. The Rt. Hon Prof. Owen Arthur is the longest serving Prime Minister of Barbados who piloted the country through the treacherous waters of economic uncertainty to the calm waters of economic prosperity.
Former Prime Minister Arthur was instrumental in the redevelopment of Kensington Oval as we know it today. The modern refurbishment was key for the ICC CWC 2007, where Barbados hosted the show piece final and then again for the T20 World Cup 2010.
We were saddened to have learnt of his untimely passing and join the nation and the region in honouring his sterling contribution to the Nation and to Kensington Oval.
The Management and Staff of Kensington Oval Management Inc. offer sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the Late Rt. Hon. Prof. Owen Seymour Arthur former Prime Minister of Barbados.
Today, I join Barbadians, West Indians and the rest of the cricketing world in saying farewell to a legend of the game, Sir Everton DeCourcy Weekes, just four and a half years shy of what would have been his final century in life.
Sir Everton, the last remaining member of the world-famous Three Ws, now joins his partners Sir Frank Worrell, who departed us in 1967, and Sir Clyde Walcott, who played his final innings in 2006, in history’s Pantheon of true gentlemen who indeed made cricket the “sport of gentlemen”.
Sir Everton is sure to live on in memory as one to emulate. Born into genuinely humble circumstances in Pickwick Gap on the outskirts of Bridgetown in 1925, a stone’s throw from Kensington Oval, he never allowed his beginning to define his life or success.
He left school at the age of 14 with no academic qualifications to boast about, and with no job, most of his time was spent playing football and cricket.
Indeed, although his cricketing skills were starting to show, particularly as a teenage member of Westshire Cricket Club, in the Barbados Cricket League, he also intended to move beyond that.
His early interaction with the world-renowned Oval and the all-white Pickwick Cricket Club that was based there was assisting the groundsmen in preparing the field, but by the closing of his career representing Barbados and the West Indies as a batsman extraordinaire, he had distinguished himself, not only at Kensington but on all of the game’s most recognised pitches around the world.
Sir Everton represented Barbados from 1944 until 1964, the West Indies from 1948 until 1958, and recorded a distinguished career of league cricket in England.
His name will forever be associated with the scoring of boundaries along the ground, ensuring that the scoring of those runs did not expose him to getting out.
Absolute brilliance and genius! For this most significant contribution to the game he was awarded the country’s highest honour, the Knight of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, in 1995.
How’s that for the boy from the outskirts of “de Orleans”, who, when he came into this world his parents “did not have two cents to rub together”, according to him.
Sir Everton, for me, was one of the most brilliant men that I have met as a Barbadian, with a turn of phrase and humour second to none.
His life story represents the best of the Bajan journey – committed and confident, stylish and classy, dignified and urbane to the very end; a global citizen with Bajan roots.
On behalf of the Government and people of Barbados, I salute Sir Everton as a true representation of the Barbadian can-do spirit; as a perfect example of perseverance over adversity; the embodiment of what our country requires today to beat back the bouncers of COVID-19, climate change and the economic inequality that we face day after day from rich and powerful nations.
To his family and the family of Empire Cricket Club, that more than a century old oasis on Bank Hall, where his heart was sustained for decades, I express deepest condolences.
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – West Indies “A” have been forced to make a number of last-minute changes to their squad for the first unofficial “Test” against India “A”, starting on Wednesday at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium
Opener Kraigg Brathwaite and wicketkeeper/batsman Shane Dowrich have sustained ankle injuries in the last few days and have been ordered to rest for the first “Test”.
In addition, John Campbell has been elevated to the senior West Indies squad to face the senior India side in the first two MyTeam11 Twenty20 Internationals, co-sponsored by Skoda, taking place on August 3 and 4 at the Broward County Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida.
As a result, the Leeward Islands Hurricanes’ pair of wicketkeeper/batsman Jahmar Hamilton and opener Montcin Hodge will replace Dowrich and Campbell respectively, and Trinidad & Tobago left-handed opener Jeremy Solozano will replace Brathwaite.
Solozano will also act as cover for Brathwaite for the second unofficial “Test”, starting the following Wednesday at the Queen’s Park Oval in his native Trinidad.
Shamarh Brooks will now captain West Indies “A” in the first “Test” and may also lead the team in the second “Test”, if Brathwaite is unable to play.
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – West Indies chances against India in the MyTeam11 T20I Series, co-sponsored by Skoda, were given a boost with the recall of the veteran duo ofSunil Narine andKieron Pollard.
Wicketkeeper/batsman Anthony Bramble is the newcomer in the 14-member squad selected for the first two T20Is in the series which will be contested on August 3 and 4 at the Broward County Stadium, Lauderhill, Florida. The Selection Panel have the opportunity to make changes to the squad before the third T20I on August 6 at the Guyana National Stadium.
The squad also includes Andre Russell, subject to him passing a fitness assessment prior to the series. He is set to return to the playing field following his early exit from the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 to undergo an operation on his troublesome left knee.
Left-handed opener John Campbell and left-arm spinner Khary Pierre have also been included alongside a number of regulars led by captain Carlos Brathwaite, as the interim CWI Selection Panel seeks to explore options with the ICC T20 World Cup looming next year in Australia.
“This squad is an excellent balance of experience and youth,” said interim chairman of the CWI Selection Panel, Robert Haynes.
“It’s not just about the present – the India Tour of the West Indies – but we are also looking at the T20 World Cup coming up next year and it is important that we find the right combination of players and the right formula for defending our title. We have to make sure that we put certain things in place now, so that when it comes to picking the squad for the T20 World Cup, it becomes easier, so we are giving more players the opportunity to play and get the exposure.”
Robert Haynes talks selection of the 1st & 2nd T20 squad for India TourMystery spinner Narine last played in a T20I for West Indies against England almost two years ago at Chester-le-Street and batting all-rounder Pollard appeared last November on the Tour of India.
“We felt that players like Narine and Pollard, who have played well in T20 leagues around the World, once they are fit and mentally ready to play, we must give them the opportunity to represent the West Indies again,” said Haynes.
The 28-year-old Bramble has given firm proof of his batting and keeping ability in the West Indies Championship for reigning five-time champions Guyana Jaguars, who also reached the Final of last year’s West Indies Super50 Cup.
He captained West Indies “B” to the Final of the Global T20 Tournament last year in Canada and was recently picked up in the CPL draft for the first time in three years and will play for his home-based Guyana Amazon Warriors.
“We have been following his performances in regional competitions over the years and it cannot be forgotten that he led the West Indies ‘B’ Team to the GT20 in Canada, and that team did well to reach the Final,” said Haynes.
“We figured that though Nicholas Pooran will be the first-choice wicketkeeper, we needed to have someone to deputise in case something unexpected happens and he is the perfect choice. He is 27 and has a lot of ambition, and we saw his character come out the way he batted whenever Guyana Jaguars were in problems in the West Indies Championship and Super50 Cup, so we know he is capable of getting the job done.”
As one of the most feared and fierce hitters in the shortest version of the game, Russell will add further depth to the batting, and Haynes expects him and the other senior members of the squad to play a big role in the series.
“We expect that this will be a keenly contested series against India,” said Haynes. “Most of the players that we have selected have played in the IPL and they know all of the Indian players well. We will have the edge for sure because we are playing at home. At the end of the day however, it is important that the players go out there and play to win, not just to compete, and I think we have the right balance to do so.”
Haynes said veteran opener Chris Gayle had notified him that he was unavailable for the series, due to playing commitments at the GT20 in Canada, so this has given the opportunity for left-handed compatriot John Campbell to fill the slot.
See what interim head coach, Floyd Reifer, has to say about the team’s composition and the return of Narine and Pollard.