West Indies coach Phil Simmons goes in self-isolation after attending a funeral ahead of England Tests

West Indies coach Phil Simmons goes in self-isolation after attending a funeral ahead of England Tests

Assistant coaches Roddy Estwick and Rayon Griffith will oversee the team's second warm-up match, which begins on Monday, before both the sides battle it out in the first Test at Southampton.

Phil Simmons
Phil Simmons. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

West Indies and England are set to lock horns in a three-match Test series starting from July 8, marking the return of international cricket amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The series is anticipated to be a one-of-a-kind due to the conditions in which it is being hosted.

Players of both the sides will be bracing the field after self-isolating themselves and the matches will be played in a biosecure environment in the absence of spectators. The series will also witness players following new ICC rules which include the much-debated saliva ban.

Ahead of the historic series, West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has entered self-isolation after attending a funeral. Simmons has been self-isolating in his Old Trafford hotel room since attending the funeral and he has to clear two COVID-19 tests before joining the Windies squad. However, Simmons’ absence won’t hamper the team preparation for the series, according to pacer Azlarri Joseph.

We have a very big coaching staff here: Alzarri Joseph

“That doesn’t really disrupt our preparations,” Joseph told British media on Saturday as quoted by India Today. “We have our jobs to do – we have our preparation to keep going with. We have a very big coaching staff here that are very supportive of each other, so that’s not really a problem for anyone,” he added.

Assistant coaches Roddy Estwick and Rayon Griffith will oversee the team’s second warm-up match, which begins on Monday, before both the sides battle it out in the first Test at Southampton from July 8.

23-year-old Joseph, who relatively has less experience compared to Jason Holder, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel, said that he is unperturbed by being considered as a ‘weaker link’ of the Caribbean bowling force. Joseph has donned the whites for West Indies in 9 Tests and has scalped 25 wickets at an economy of 3.23.

“Obviously those three guys have a lot more experience than I do. I’d think more often than not, teams would see me as the weaker link. I think my job is to come in and just back those bowlers and keep the pressure on,” said Joseph.

“I could use it as an advantage – I know my abilities and they (England) might not know. But once I turn up on the day and get the job done, I know I can get on top of any opponent,” he added.