Cricket in the Time of Covid-19

The decision made by both England and the West Indies to play a three-test series in the month of July was a tough one. Of course, cricket lovers over the world will certainly be looking forward to the great players of the game on the fields, regardless of the presence of the COVID19 pandemic. England has not enjoyed any level of success which would have brought them confidence that there is full recovery from the disease.

The countries of the Caribbean worked hard to get the players back on the field after some three months of stress, isolation, and in most cases even deaths. The final decision may be left to the medical experts who were working feverishly to bring full success to the people, despite the traumatic circumstances. While I do respect them all for their decision-making processes, the general risk must be still within the minds and hearts of the members of the teams.

One is left to wonder whether or not this uncomfortable eight weeks of rest will affect the preparation of the players. As there will be different forms of physical fitness and this will mean committed efforts. In the case of our Cricketers travelling to England within the next few days, the task of preparation has already begun in the nets.

Does the West Indies Have a Chance?

It appears that fast bowler Kemar Roach is getting ready to repeat his brilliant spells which he had previously attained the last time he played against the English. Captain Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Newcomer Chemar Holder plus the spin of Roston Chase seem to be the key bowlers in the 14 man squad. Because of the performances of the wickets in England at this time of the season, it would be ideal for the fast bowlers who are capable of utilizing seaming deliveries.

I expect that England batsmen will not enjoy what the Windies have to offer by way of bowling. As to the Windies batters selected, I have to admit that there seem to be weak areas among our top batsmen. Now that Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmeyer, and Keemo Paul have withdrawn from selection, the task will be much more challenging. Outside of Shai Hope, the rest have not proven themselves. Opener Kraig Braithwaite has been given numerous chances. However, there are serious weaknesses which have shown up against good seam bowlers and although he gained some good scores earlier in his career, there is a vulnerability in his technique which tends to fall short against the excellent bowlers of England.

Of the reserves which will accompany the team, there is some quality in Ambris and Da Silva, both of whom may provide some stability and concentration. Let us all hope that the series will really take place. To make an assessment as to a winner, the wickets will make the decisions. Our bowlers should win this series.

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Honorary Dr.Alvin Corneal HBM. Alvin is one of a handful of sportsmen who represented our national Football (Soccer) and Cricket teams concurrently between 1955 and 1971. He was also a member of the first-ever West Indies Football team which toured England in 1959. He played both sports professionally as a player and a coach to all levels of National Football teams. He had previously held positions as National football Coach of junior and senior teams, Technical Director of the TTFA, Technical Director of Concacaf, and the prestigious positions as FIFA Technical Committee Member and currently, a FIFA Technical Advisor. He is also a presenter/ analyst for Radio and television on all local, regional and International Sports. He is the recipient of a national Award from his country, Trinidad and Tobago for his outstanding service to the people of the region in Sport and ideal Character personality. He was also chosen to receive the Country’s Republic day award for the year 2011. He has been inducted into the Country’s Hall of Fame.