West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has sought to give the assurance that there is nothing to worry about as far as the fitness of captain Jason Holder is concerned, and he will be ready for the Wisden Test series beginning next month.

Holder did not bowl when his team fielded in the second innings of the first intra-squad warm-up match here at Emirates Old Trafford, and was not required to bat on the final day of that three-day fixture on Thursday.

However, Simmons said there was no cause for alarm.

He said the all-rounder would be ready for the three-Test series in which West Indies will be defending the Wisden trophy they won in the Caribbean last year.

“Jason has had a slight niggle on his ankle and that is what has held him back from bowling,” Simmons said.

“He will be back to bowling in the four-day game and should be bowling his full quota. As for the batting if you get one ball and you’re out, that’s all you can do.”

Simmons added that wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich, who left the field after hurting his side during the match between Holder’s XI and Kraigg Brathwaite’s XI, was also fine. “I’ll need to see the doctor to see exactly what is wrong but he seems to be doing fine,” he said.

Meantime, addressing the fitness of experienced fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who is making a return from ankle surgery, Simmons said “he looks ready; that was evident here”.

“When you see how he bowled in the first innings, then again [Wednesday] and even more so [Thursday] morning, you could see he’s close to 100 per cent. Now we want to get him up to 100 just before the Test match,” he said of the Trinidadian fast bowler.

West Indies will have a four-day warm-up fixture starting Monday at Emirates Old Trafford, before they travel to Southampton for the first match at the Ageas Bowl, starting July 8.


Opener Kraigg Brathwaite snapped a run of poor form with a half-century while wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich got his first fifty on English soil as they helped West Indies carve out an invaluable first innings lead on the third day of the opening Test, yesterday.

West Indies opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite did what was required for his team as they secured a first innings lead against England in the first Test, though he urged his bowlers to be smarter and more disciplined in their second innings today as they try to put themselves in an impregnable position to come out on top.

CAZOVA (Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association) has cancelled all their major tournaments for the rest of the year because of the coronavirus.

The decision was taken during a “virtual” meeting of national federations affiliated to the Caribbean body for the sport last week Wednesday.

Young footballers Che Benny and Kareem Riley have expressed great joy in being part of a Trinidad and Tobago’s senior men’s national football team training camp, under national coach Terry Fenwick.

Real Madrid defender Marcelo will likely be sidelined for the rest of their Liga title run-in after sustaining a thigh injury.

A statement from Real yesterday confirmed the injury to the Brazilian without stating when he would return although Spanish newspaper Marca said he would be out of action for three weeks.