Coronavirus: West Indies offer to host England Test series

Windies also willing to stage England v Pakistan because of pandemic

File photo dated 05-09-2019 of England's Ben Stokes. PA Photo. Issue date: Wednesday March 18, 2020. Ben Stokes has revealed the abdominal issue which led to him being withdrawn from EnglandÕs tour match in Sri Lanka was caused by a blow to the midsection during batting practice. See PA story CRICKET Stokes. Photo credit should read Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
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The Caribbean cricket board has offered to host the England Test series against the West Indies because of the coronavirus outbreak in the United Kingdom.

The West Indies are due to play England in June, and while several Caribbean nations have reported positive Covid-19 cases, the situation is worse in Britain which has reported more than 100 deaths from the respiratory disease.

Cricket West Indies CEO Jonny Grave has spoken to his English counterpart and offered to host the three-Test series, ESPNcricinfo reported.

"I've spoken to Tom Harrison a couple of times in the last few days and assured him that we will be as flexible, supportive and helpful as possible," Grave told the cricket website.

"To that end, yes, we have offered to host the series here in the Caribbean if that is deemed helpful. The ECB would retain all commercial and broadcast rights."

The West Indies have also offered to stage England's three-Test series against Pakistan, which is scheduled to begin at Lord's on July 30, the report added.

But, speaking to BBC Sport later on Thursday, Graves played down the proposal. “I have not had any discussions with England over whether we can host,” he said. “It would be strange that England can’t have cricket but the Caribbean can. Realistically, without knowing anything about pandemics, if England can’t hold cricket then it almost certainly means the rest of the world can’t hold cricket either. I think it is an unrealistic option.”

Grave did say the West Indies are being as “flexible as possible” to get the series played.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will consult county executives on Thursday to discuss the possible rescheduling of the domestic season.

England bowler James Anderson feared he might not get to bowl in potentially his last summer of English cricket.

"Cricket and sport is not the be all and end all but it is my livelihood, it's all I know," the 37-year-old told BBC's Tailenders podcast.

"There's a chance we might not even bowl a ball this summer."

Anderson, Test cricket's most prolific fast bowler, played the last of his 151 tests in Cape Town earlier this year before a rib injury ended his South Africa tour and kept him out of the cancelled two-test tour of Sri Lanka.

"The season is unlikely to start. It's still a little bit hazy as to what's going to happen," he said.

"I feel a little bit anxious. Just the not knowing is giving me a bit of anxiety."