With the West Indies team's arrival in England for a 3 Test match series, there is much to cheer for cricket fans world over. In times where, due to COVID-19, the sport had come to a complete halt, this tour is indeed a huge step forward.
In a press conference conducted on Zoom, West Indies captain Jason Holder said he felt “pretty safe”and commended the England Cricket Board (ECB) on the arrangements.
“I must commend the ECB; they’ve been outstanding. We had a chartered airline and arriving here yesterday in Manchester was pretty smooth. We just transferred directly from the plane through the VIP arrival hall and then from there straight on to the buses directly to the hotel,” he said.
He also added that players who decided to come on the tour did so of their own free will. “At no point in time did we force anybody to come. Everybody had their free will," said Holder.
The Windies captain also said that he can’t wait to get on the field and wanted his team to grasp the opportunity they have been given in these difficult times.
“Oh man, I’ve been sat at home for the last couple of months doing nothing. So to be getting some cricket, doing something I love, is great and I think most of the guys feel the same way. We haven’t had competitive cricket for a while. We don’t even know what is going to happen after this series. So I think it is an opportunity that we should all grasp,” he said.
Though Holder admitted it will be sad to play in an empty stadium. "I guess the only sad thing is we won't be able to play in front of crowds," he said. "I enjoy playing in front of the Barmy Army, to not hear them sing, to not hear them chant will take some getting used to."
Regarding the West Indies team’s response to the Black Lives Matter movement, Holder said he will discuss it with his team if and how they would like to show their support to the movement. “It will be discussed amongst ourselves and we’ll decide how we’ll go forward as a team. But I don’t want to sit here and speak for the other members without consulting them. I think that would be wrong.”
The 28-year-old Test captain added, “I just want to make sure that whatever we do – if we do anything – is done the right way. And if we do decide to show some sort of solidarity , we make sure that everybody is on the same page. For me the greatest thing at the end of the day is unity. We must all come together, there must be equality across the world.”
The first Test match between West Indies and England will start on the July 8.