Windies trio rejected England tour over serious concerns for health, family

By Sports Desk June 05, 2020

The three players who pulled out of the upcoming West Indies tour of England expressed serious misgivings about the risk posed to their health, despite the assurances provided.

The trio, Darren Bravo, Keemo Paul, and Shimron Hetmyer all respectfully declined to be part of a 25-man squad picked to tour England next month.  With eyes firmly on the coronavirus epidemic, the three-Test series will be played in empty stadiums and players placed in a quarantined bio-secure environment as soon as they arrive in the UK.  In addition, the players will be brought in on a private flight.

The precautions were, however, not enough to assuage the fears of the players. With 283,311 cases and 40,261 deaths, the UK recently took over from Italy as the European country most badly affected by the coronavirus.  In declining Bravo, Paul and Hetmyer wrote to the CWI authorities and cited concerns for themselves and their families.

“Keemo Paul is the sole breadwinner in his entire household and wider family. He was really concerned if something happened to him how his family would cope,” CWI CEO Grave told ESPNCricinfo.

“He wrote passionately about how hard a decision it was for him and how much he loves playing for West Indies, but after with consultation with his family he doesn’t feel he can leave them and doesn’t want to go on the tour,” he added.

Grave went on to reveal that in a similar email from Hetmyer, he explained that he “didn’t feel comfortable from a safety point of view, leaving his home, leaving his family and heading over to England.”

The CEO had earlier insisted the decision will not be held against any of the players.

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