England v West Indies: Tourists arrive for historic Test series

West Indies hold the Wisden Trophy after beating England 2-1 in the most recent series in the Caribbean

West Indies have arrived in Manchester to begin their historic Test tour of England.

They are the first international sports team to arrive in the UK since the coronavirus lockdown started in March.

The three-Test series, originally due to begin on 4 June, starts on 8 July at

All 39 members of the touring party, including 25 players, tested negative for Covid-19 before taking a charter flight from Antigua to Manchester.

They will be tested again as they enter quarantine at Emirates Old Trafford, where they will spend three weeks preparing before heading to the Ageas Bowl in Southampton for the first Test.

The second and third matches will take place at Old Trafford. Both venues have hotels on site.

“This is a huge step forward in cricket and in sports in general,” said West Indies captain Jason Holder.

“A lot has gone into the preparations for what will be a new phase in the game.”

The first Test will be the first international cricket played since Australia beat New Zealand behind closed doors in a one-day international at Sydney’s SCG on 13 March.

West Indies players ‘champing at the bit’

West Indies batsmen Shimron Hetmyer and Darren Bravo and all-rounder Keemo Paul because of coronavirus concerns.

The number of coronavirus deaths and confirmed cases is far higher than  the Caribbean.

West Indies limited-overs all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, who will be part of the BBC Test Match Special commentary team, said the statistics caused “some scepticism” about the tour among some players.

“Ultimately, everybody has been champing at the bit not only to practise, but play,” he told

“It was more a case of we want to play. However, we want to be sure of the health situation and, once we’re sure of that, we’re happy to get on the plane.”

West Indies squad: Jason Holder (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach.

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

England Cricket

@englandcricket

Also in Sport

  • American heavyweight Deontay Wilder and Britain's Tyson Fury during their second fight at Las Vegas in February 2020

    Fury-Wilder III on Boxing Day in Australia?

  • George Floyd

    Sadness, anger and isolation – athletes on racism

  • Euros OTD: June 9th

    Dutch destroy Italy, Gomez makes difference & Denmark cause a shock

  • Jane Couch

    ‘We thought we’d changed everything, but the fight goes on’

  • Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong

    ‘When Messi gives advice, you listen’ – De Jong on life at Barcelona

  • Pick your women's world T20 team

    Pick your women’s world T20 XI

  • Allan Donald, Sir Clive Lloyd, Imran Khan

    Vote: Who is county cricket’s greatest overseas player?

  • Match of the Day live

    What Match of the Day looked like in 1988

  • Split picture of Joanna Jedrzejczyk immediately after UFC 248 and when her facial injury had recovered

    ‘Losing fight hurt more than these injuries’

  • Ruud Gullit

    ‘Chelsea was my paradise – but one thing spoiled it’

  • Euros Rewind

    Zidane, Rooney, Bale, Gascoigne – how to watch BBC Sport’s Euros Rewind this summer

  • Katerina Johnson-Thompson

    How Johnson-Thompson overcame inner doubts to strike gold in Doha

Explore the BBC

  • KSI Louis Theroux

    How did a joke lead to a boxing match?