West Indies cricket legend Sir Clive Lloyd thinks it may not be wise for the Caribbean side to go ahead with the tour of England, given the spread of COVID-19 in what is one of the nations hardest hit by the pandemic.
Sir Clive, who is currently in England, expressed those reservations as he stressed that the health of players and everyone involved should be a priority.
“It all depends on the safety. A lot of people are still dying here, you know, and I don’t think it would be wise if your health is at stake,” the former Windies skipper said in response to a question about whether he felt the tour should go ahead.
As of Thursday, at least 36,042 deaths were recorded in the United Kingdom from almost 251,000 cases reported.
Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are still in negotiations over a possible July date, after the three-Test tour, which was to begin on June 4, was postponed due to the COVID-19 threat.
The ideas on the table for the tour to come off safely, include hosting the matches in bio-secure venues and implementing strict quarantine and social distancing protocols.
As far as Sir Clive is concerned, with the COVID-19 pandemic still not under control there is much to take into consideration.
“You have to take all the precautions. You have to wait and see what the medical people are saying…. They say things are getting better but until that happens, I don’t think we can make any particular decision,” he said.
Earlier this week, West Indies captain Jason Holder told BBC Radio 5 that no player would be forced to take part in the Test series.
“Each player has to be comfortable in making the step,” he said. “Certainly, from my perspective, I won’t be forcing anyone to go anywhere. 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.”
CWI has already selected a provisional squad of 30 players from which 25 are to be selected if the series comes off, but CWI chief executive Johnny Grave says no final decision has been made.