Coronavirus wrap: Windies players opt out as US Ryder Cup skipper sends warning

Three West Indies players have decided against travelling to England for their Test series while US Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker has warned the event could be a “yawner” if it is staged behind closed doors.

The Windies will play three Tests in July which will go ahead behind closed doors at ‘biosecure’ venues because of coronavirus.

Batsmen Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer and fast bowling all-rounder Keemo Paul have been left out of a 25-man touring party.

A Cricket West Indies statement read: “Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul all declined the invitation to travel to England for the tour and CWI fully respects their decision to choose to do so.

“As previously stated, CWI will not hold this decision against these players when considering future selection.”

England announced on Tuesday that, subject to Government clearance, the series will start at the Ageas Bowl on July 8 followed by two Tests at Old Trafford beginning on July 16 and July 24 respectively.

Steve Stricker
US Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker has rejected the idea of playing the event without fans (Richard Sellers/PA)

The Ryder Cup is scheduled to take place at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin on September 25-27 but there has been further resistance to the prospect of staging the event without fans.

Echoing the recent fears of Europe star Rory McIlroy, Stricker told Golf Affect Radio: “This event is made by the fans. If it was without fans, it almost would be a yawner of an event.

“To cheat out the Wisconsin fans would be a crime. I hope when we do have it, it can be up to its full potential.

“So far, we’re planning it as if it’s a go, like we’re going to have it but there’s some obstacles that we’re going to have to face. The confidence of the people and the corporate people. It’s going to come down to probably the safety.”

Only one individual – later confirmed to be a Tottenham staff member – out of 1,197 tested positive in the latest round of Premier League coronavirus tests.

Nine individuals from the Championship tested positive in the latest round of tests. A total of 1,094 players and staff were tested in a four-day period ending on Tuesday, with the positive tests coming from six different clubs.

Sheffield Wednesday confirmed a staff member had tested positive, as did Preston. In League Two, where only the four clubs in the play-off places are participating, there were zero positive cases from a sample size of 126.

Meanwhile, police will look at the final proposed Premier League fixture list before recommending whether any games in London should be moved to neutral venues.

Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium
Tottenham are still due to host Arsenal when the Premier League resumes (Zac Goodwin/PA)

None of the five matches which the UK’s football policing lead said local forces had requested be switched to neutral venues last week were in the capital, despite the city’s mayor Sadiq Khan expressing misgivings about staging games there during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tottenham’s match against north London rivals Arsenal is one of the games still to be played, as is Spurs versus West Ham. The Hammers also have a home game with Chelsea at the London Stadium.

A statement from the Metropolitan Police read: “The MPS have been in regular contact with the NPCC football lead DCC Mark Roberts who is co-ordinating the policing response to the restart of any football matches across the UK.

“Whilst agreement has been reached as to when the season may recommence, the plans for this to happen are still being finalised.

“I feel good about the headway we have made but there is still work in progress" – F1 boss, Chase Carey#F1https://t.co/0OtIbv6BVj

— Formula 1 (@F1) June 3, 2020

“We remain in contact with all the relevant bodies and will make plans as necessary when we receive a final proposed schedule for games.”

Formula One chief executive Chase Carey has refused to set any hard deadlines as the sport hopes to have a finalised 2020 calendar in place by the end of the month.

On Tuesday the sport published an eight-race European calendar which will see the delayed season start with a double-header in Austria on July 5 and 12 before a race in Hungary, two at Silverstone in August and further events in Spain, Belgium and Italy – all behind closed doors.

“We feel good about it,” Carey said on the F1 website. “We’re in uncharted waters. We certainly continue to have a lack of visibility beyond a fairly short timeframe.

“We’re not going to give a deadline right now. With the fluidity of the situation, a deadline would create pressures which may not be right and realistic for the situation so we’re thinking of goals.”

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