By Vishesh Roy
New Delhi [India], June 30 (ANI): Ahead of the three-match Test series against England, West Indies pacer Oshane Thomas has said that the experience of staying in a bio-secure bubble has not been bad.
All international cricket has been suspended since March this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, the series between England and West Indies will mark the return of international cricket.
The West Indies squad will live, train and play in a 'bio-secure' environment in England during the seven weeks of the tour, as part of the comprehensive medical and operations plans to ensure player and staff safety. The bio-secure protocols will also restrict movement in and out of the venues.
In an interaction with ANI from Manchester, the Windies pacer said that the experience of being in a bio-secure bubble has not been bad. He also credited the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket West Indies (CWI) for looking after the safety of players.
"Well, in terms of how long things will be like this, we really have to wait and see. The experience hasn't been bad. The ECB and CWI have done all in their power to ensure that we are comfortable. A lot of free time is spent in the games room playing dominoes," Thomas told ANI.
When asked about the saliva ban, Thomas replied: "Currently, sweat is the option that we have and honestly, it is not working out too badly. I am not thinking too far into the future on this."
The 23-year-old pacer also said that the West Indies lineup was well equipped to deal with the changes introduced by the ICC.
"I don't think falling back into that habit (using saliva) has been an issue within the team and certainly not for myself. We were well prepared by Cricket West Indies (CWI) prior to coming over and the changes have been practiced from day one," Thomas said.
Recently, Windies great Andy Roberts said that Oshane Thomas would be his first pick if he was to select seamers for the Test side against England.
Thomas said that receiving a compliment from Roberts is huge and now he has to make sure to keep improving by the minute.
"Any positive compliment coming from such a legend of West Indies and world cricket is huge. I just have to stay focused, improve on my fitness, and make sure I live up to that," Thomas said.
"Well, I have been working hard at it (improving fitness). This camp is a perfect opportunity for me to judge myself and to improve. So I must say thanks to CWI for the opportunity. Once I improve my fitness, I will be able to bowl faster for longer spells; that will really assist my game," he added.
The England-Windies Test series will be held at Hampshire's Ageas Bowl and Lancashire's Emirates Old Trafford, which have been chosen as bio-secure venues.
The proposed dates for three Tests are:First Test: July 8-12 at Ageas BowlSecond Test: July 16-20 at Emirates Old TraffordThird Test: July 24-28 at Emirates Old Trafford
The ICC has also confirmed interim changes to its playing regulations, including the ban of saliva to shine the ball and allowing replacement of players displaying symptoms of COVID-19 during a Test match. (ANI)
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