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Jason Holder to Lead 14-Man West Indies Squad for England Tour, Nkrumah Bonner Gets Call Up

Cricketnext Staff

Jason Holder will lead the 14-man original Test squad for the tour of England amid the Coronavirus outbreak with Chemar Holder and Nkrumah Bonner getting call-ups.

The squad will not include Darren Bravo, Keemo Paul or Shimron Hetmyer who have all opted out of the three-Test match tour.

West Indies will arrive in England on June 9 and head to Manchester where they will be quarantined and train for three weeks. The first of the three Tests starts in Southampton on July 8, before the next two Tests begin in Manchester on July 16 and Jul 24 respectively.

All three matches will be played behind closed doors with no fans, and in a bio-secure environment.

West Indies will also be taking 10 additional players as part of the reserve group. The list includes pacers Oshane Thomas and Marquino Mindley.

Chemar Holder is a 22-year-old pacer who has played 19 first-class matches for 76 wickets.

Bonner, meanwhile, is a 31-year-old all-rounder who has represented West Indies in two T20Is.

Roger Harper, CWI’s Lead Selector said:

"The new cricketing environment will take some getting used to. However, being in England and working together for four weeks before the first Test will give the squad the opportunity to get acclimatized and hopefully, mentally and technically adjusted to the demands of the new environment. Playing in July could be a blessing as the weather is likely to be warmer which will allow the squad more of an opportunity to play its best cricket.

“I think we have a squad that will be very competitive. 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 experience of the players who toured England before in 2017 will also benefit the squad greatly. I expect that the bowling unit will once again provide a serious challenge for England and our batting will have to deliver. England is a tough team when playing in home conditions, however, I think the West Indies has a good chance of retaining the Wisden Trophy. We will have to bat consistently well to do so.

"Chemar Holder is an exciting young fast bowling talent who is coming off an excellent domestic First-Class season. He should enjoy bowling in English conditions. He could prove a real asset to the team in England. Nkrumah Bonner is an unflappable character. His ability to hold the innings together and bat through tight situations could serve the team very well. Jermaine Blackwood returns by sheer weight of performance in the domestic First-Class season. His patience and application were evident and that resulted in much greater consistency which I look forward to him taking back into the Test arena. His experience of playing Test cricket in England should stand him in good stead."

While three players have refused to tour, majority of the others are raring to go.

"I am just glad that we are getting a chance to play cricket again. We are all happy for cricket to return, and the conditions and terms that they proposed sound pretty safe to me, and everybody will be tested, so I am happy with that,” opener John Campbell was quoted as saying by Jamaica Gleaner.

"I have been doing what I can do. I just started batting two weeks ago, working in isolation with coach Andre Coley. Before that I was only doing physical, but all in all, I am fit and ready to go."

Earlier, captain Jason Holder had said he wouldn't force anyone to tour England.

Squad: Jason Holder, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Shane Dowrich, Roston Chase, Shemarh Brooks, Rahkeem Cornwall, Nkrumah Bonner, Alzarri Joseph, Chemar Holder, John Campbell, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Jermaine Blackwood .

Reserves: Sunil Ambris, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shane Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican.