Boredom no issue as Windies aim to roll back the years

By Sports Desk June 13, 2020

Phil Simmons does not expect boredom to be an immediate concern for West Indies as they prepare for their Test series with England in challenging circumstances.

The Windies are set to face England in three Tests behind closed doors, the first beginning at the Ageas Bowl on July 8 before two matches at Old Trafford.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, which brought professional cricket grinding to a halt in March, West Indies are using Old Trafford for training and quarantining.

However, head coach Simmons is not concerned about his side keeping entertained, believing the hunger to play cricket again will help combat any feelings of boredom.

Speaking on a conference call on Saturday, Simmons said: "There's always dominoes - as you can imagine if you've been to the Caribbean that is a highly explosive form of entertainment.

"We have a golf simulation centre, we have cards, a few things the guys are enjoying. When you have characters like Jason Holder everyone is always laughing and enjoying themselves.

"The biggest challenge is boredom, but saying that in this scenario - because of doing nothing, no cricket being played for the last however many months - that will take a while to come into play.

"The guys are hungry, they want to play and practice."

Not since a 4-0 win in 1988 have the Windies won a Test series in England, but the current crop have not had to look far for inspiration, with Gordon Greenidge's double-hundred at Lord's in 1984 recently broadcast on British television.

"I saw the Test at Lord's where Gordon scored a double [hundred] on the last day," Simmons added.

"I'm not too sure how close some of the younger players are [to the past] but we're trying to bring that back, get younger guys to understand where we've come from in terms of being top of the world for such a long time.

"Sometimes when you know the whole West Indies saga is coming from, it gives you more impetus to be pushing forward to get the team back on top."

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    The West Indies will need just two wickets tomorrow and attempt to minimize the 170-run lead the hosts have after they were restricted to 284-8.

    The West Indies, leading England by 99 runs at the Ageas Bowl at the beginning of Saturday, were pushed back, as openers Rory Burns, 42, and Dom Sibley, 50, whittled down that lead.

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    Simmons was speaking at the end of day four, highlighting what was a pivotal moment in the West Indies’ second stint on the field.

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    The West Indies, leading England by 99 runs at the Ageas Bowl at the beginning of Saturday, were pushed back, as openers Rory Burns, 42, and Dom Sibley, 50, whittled down that lead.

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    “I think the confidence from the way we batted, the attitude towards batting in the first innings, is going to be a huge plus for us, batting in the second innings. Whether it be 170 or 190 it is going to be the same attitude that you will need to chase it.”

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