Three West Indies players declined to travel for a cricket tour to England that will be played in bio-secure environments amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Shimron Hetmyer, Darren Bravo and Keemo Paul “all declined the invitation” to join the squad, Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief executive Johnny Grave has revealed.
Hetmyer, Bravo and Paul – the trio of centrally-contracted players – refused to tour the country for a series next month and Grave said he can understand their reasons and empathise with them.
“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,” Grave told ESPNCricinfo.
Paul, who has played three Tests, 19 ODIs and 18 T20Is for the Windies, had written an email to the board giving his reason for declining the tour.
“He [Paul] wrote passionately about how hard a decision it was for him and how much he loves playing for West Indies, but with consultation with his family he doesn’t feel he can leave them and doesn’t want to go on the tour,” Grave said.
Grave confirmed that the 23-year-old Hetmyer via an email communicated the same to CWI. Hetmyer is not comfortable from a safety point of view, leaving his home, leaving his family and heading over to England.
Meanwhile, Bravo is concerned about the current pandemic situation in the UK and didn’t want to leave his family behind.
“He [Bravo] also mentioned he made his decision with great remorse as it was always a huge honour for him to play for West Indies.
“So, yes, perfectly valid reasons and the ones that we fully respect. We were never going to force or try to coerce, and we didn’t ask them to reconsider,” Grave added.
The 25-member Caribbean team will be arriving in England in chartered flights on June 9 for the three-match Test series, beginning July 8.