West Indies coach Phil Simmons has disclosed a peculiar form of helping their players boost their morale and confidence ahead of the much-awaited Test series in England. The Caribbeans landed in Manchester in Tuesday after undergoing rigorous health screenings or tests of novel Coronavirus. With the virus still very much active in the United Kingdom, Phil Simmons believes it is essential to create a light environment.
The three-match Test series will mark the resumption of cricket at the international level with the last fixture taking place in March. The English team and the Caribbeans will commence the rubber in Southampton before moving on to Old Trafford in Manchester for the next two. English speedster James Anderson, who is slated to take part in the series commended the bravado of the tourists for electing to be part of the series.
While acknowledging the seriousness of the situation due to the pandemic, Phil Simmons wants to ensure that the squad remains in good stead. Hence, the visitors are resorting to card games, visiting golf simulation centres to keep their spirits up. The West Indies are the current holders of Wisden Trophy, having won a Test series against Joe Root’s men for the first time since 2009 at the Caribbean Islands. However, it has been three decades since they emerged victorious on English soil.
“There’s always dominoes –- as you can imagine if you’ve been to the Caribbean that is a highly explosive form of entertainment. We have a golf simulation centre, we have cards, a few things the guys are enjoying. When you have characters like Jason Holder everyone is always laughing and enjoying themselves.” Simmons said as quoted by News18 in a press conference.
The guys are hungry: Phil Simmons
The Trinidadian coach went on to say that the biggest challenge during the shutdown was boredom. Hence, the players will take time to come to the fore and catch a rhythm. Simmons asserted that the players are hungry and raring to practice and play.
“The biggest challenge is boredom, but saying that in this scenario –- because of doing nothing, no cricket being play for the last however many months –- that will take a while to come into play. The guys are hungry, they want to play and practise.” the 57-year-old added.