The West Indies Women were tested for COVID-19 yesterday shortly after arriving in the United Kingdom for their five-match campaign against England next month.
The 18-member squad that left the Caribbean on a charter flight on Sunday, will play five T20 Internationals (T20I) against England Women from September 21-30, at the Incora County Ground, Derby.
The squad will live, train and play in a “bio-secure” environment during the four weeks of the tour, as part of the comprehensive medical and operations plans to ensure player and staff safety which will restrict movement in and out of the venues.
According to Interim head coach Andre Coley, everything has gone according to plan, so far.
“We were shuttled to the team hotel, the bio-secure environment, it was well laid out and thought out,” he said.
“We had a briefing about the protocols and so on. We had our first COVID tests and we are awaiting results from those.
“We will start recovery from tomorrow [today]. The players are in good spirits.”
While England’s players returned to individual training in June and have already played a handful of intra-squad warm-up games and appeared for their domestic sides in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, West Indies are coming in cold.
They were well beaten on their last tour of England, losing 3-0 in the ODI series and 1-0 in the T20Is, and with their comparative lack of preparation, it would be a major upset if they were to come away with a series win.
Captain Stafanie Taylor admitted she expected to feel “a bit rusty” in the first few days of training, not least after an enforced break through injury after hurting her groin in the T20 World Cup fixture against England. But she hopes to use her extensive experience of English conditions – including Kia Super League stints at Southern Vipers and Western Storm – to her advantage.
“The ball swings everywhere you go [in England], so it’s about applying yourself. I like playing in England – it’s a challenge, but sometimes it’s good to have these challenges,” she said. “We’re just coming back as well, [so] it’s going to take a while, but at least the few weeks that we have will definitely help us going into our first game.”
Full squad: Stafanie Taylor, Afy Fletcher, Hayley Matthews, Aaliyah Alleyne, Cherry-Ann Fraser, Natasha McLean, Shemaine Campbelle, Shabika Gajnabi, Chedean Nation, Britney Cooper, Sheneta Grimmond, Karishma Ramharack, Shamilia Connell, Chinelle Henry, Kaysia Schultz, Deandra Dottin, Lee Ann Kirby and Shakera Selman.
The full schedule is as follows:
Monday, September 21: 1st Vitality IT20, England v West Indies (Sky Sports)
Wednesday, September 23: 2nd Vitality IT20, England v West Indies (Sky Sports)
Saturday, September 26: 3rd Vitality IT20, England v West Indies (Sky Sports, BBC)
Monday, September 28: 4th Vitality IT20, England v West Indies (Sky Sports)
Wednesday, September 30: 5th Vitality IT20, England v West Indies (Sky Sports) (SportsMax)