Phil Simmons

FIVE DAYS: Phil Simmons, West Indies head coach.

Head coach Phil Simmons will spend five days in isolation as a precaution after leaving the secure West Indies facility here to attend a funeral on Friday, media reports have said.

In keeping with the COVID-19 protocols for the tour, Simmons will also be tested at the start and the end of the isolation period. If he is returned negative, he will then rejoin the touring party. There has been no announcement by Cricket West Indies.

Simmons will not oversee the final four-day warm-up match starting Monday at Old Trafford but fast bowler Alzarri Joseph told reporters Saturday his absence would not impact preparations.

“That doesn’t really disrupt our preparations,” Joseph said. “We have our jobs to do, we have preparations to keep going on. We have a lot of coaching staff here that are very supportive of each player so that’s not really a problem for anyone.”

West Indies arrived on June 9 and underwent two weeks of quarantine, while beefing up preparations in the nets. They played their first “inter-squad” three-day tour game last week.

The tourists have been prohibited from engaging in the traditional warm-up fixtures against county sides in an attempt to limit their interaction with the public.

It has been just one of several stringent protocols put in place for the tour being played amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has already resulted in 310,000 infections and 43,000 deaths in the UK. Globally, the virus has been responsible for ten million infections and a half-million deaths.

West Indies arrived in the UK on a secure chartered flight, were transported to Old Trafford in several buses to ensure social distancing and have been hunkered down ever since. All three Tests—the first at Southampton and the last two at Old Trafford—will be played behind closed doors with strict sanitisation and social distancing measures in place.

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