The news of the resumption of cricket with the England vs West Indies series has already brought a wave of joy across the globe. However, the bilateral relation between England and West Indies transcend beyond just cricket.
West Indian soldiers came to Britain’s aid in both World Wars and now their cricketers have arrived to entertain at another troubled time.
However, what many don’t know is the Caribbean squad has put a lot at stake to travel halfway through the world for the revival of the sport during such distressing times.
The current West Indian cricketers are making a sacrifice to give our summer a semblance of normality. All have families back in the West Indies, and if something goes wrong there, none can go home until flights to the Caribbean recommence, and even then there are no flights between islands. The players are stranded- further from home, in testing times.
Three West Indian players have also declined to be on the tour. It is heartening to hear the story of Keemo Paul, an all-rounder who played in England’s last Test in the West Indies, in CPL Stories on YouTube. Paul’s family lives in a village on the Essequibo River with no electricity, no television, one bed for all the members of his extended family, so everyone had to sleep on his or her right side. If one had caught the virus while Paul was in England, he would have been helpless as the breadwinner.
The West Indies touring party are essentially stranded in England and one should not forget the sacrifices that they have made to be here. They will play the Three Lions in a three-Test fixture, the first of which starts from July 8 in Southampton.