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Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul refuse to travel for England tour
West Indies Tour of England

Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul refuse to travel for England tour

Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul are the three West Indies cricketers to have turned down a place in the Test squad for the three-match series in England next month.

"Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul all declined the invitation to travel to England for the tour and CWI fully respects their decision to choose to do so," Cricket West Indies announced in a statement.

"As previously stated, CWI will not hold this decision against these players when considering future selection."

Jason Holder will be captaining the 14-man squad that features two uncapped players in Chemar Holder and middle-order batter Nkrumah Bonner.

The three Tests, which were rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic, will finally bring an end to a three-month drought of international cricket.

The decision of Bravo, Hetmyer and Paul to make themselves unavailable for the tour stems from the ceaseless destruction caused by the virus in the United Kingdom, where the deadly disease has accounted for the loss of over 39,000 lives.

As part of the arrangments for the tourists to reduce exposure to the virus, they will be kept in isolation and play in a "bio-secure" environment across the seven weeks. In line with the safety and health protocols, West Indies selectors have also named 11 reserve players who will prepare alongside the Test squad.

The West Indies team is expected to fly to England on private charters on June 8 with the first match expected to be conducted at Ageas Bowl on July 8.

"The new cricketing environment will take some getting used to," said CWI chief selector Roger Harper.

"However, being in England and working together for four weeks before the first Test will give the squad the opportunity to get acclimatised and hopefully, mentally and technically adjusted to the demands of the new environment."

The Caribbean squad includes Shai Hope, who starred in their famous 2017 Test match win at Headingley when he became the first batsman to score hundreds in both innings of a first-class game in Yorkshire.

Meanwhile, lively middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood has also earned a call-up to the national side, beefing up the batting stocks of the visitors.

"I think we have a squad that will be very competitive," Harper added.

"More than half of the squad were involved in the victorious Test series against England in the Caribbean last year so they will bring that experience, that knowledge and belief with them and marry it to the enthusiasm and vitality of the newcomers."

The last time these two sides met, West Indies emerged as the triumphant side at home as they cruised to a 2-1 series win. However, the upcoming series between England and West Indies will count towards the calculation of points in the World Test Championship.

West Indies squad

Jason Holder (c), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach

Fixtures

July 8-12: 1st Test at Ageas Bowl, Southampton

July 16-20: 2nd Test at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester

July 24-28: 3rd Test at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester