The lack of fans in the stands and the fact that England will be starting fresh after more than two months of no cricket could work in favour of the West Indies, according to coach Phil Simmons.
West Indies are set to face England in a three-match Test series next month. The matches will be the first since the cricket calendar was halted by the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March. It will be played in a bio-secure environment with fans barred from attending.
“I don’t know if it will increase our chances, because both teams are under the same umbrella — for want of a better word,” Simmons said in a video conference from the team’s training base.
“The nice part for us is that 20,000 Englishmen raving for England, and that crowd support, it’s not there for them. So that in a way will help us, so it’s good from that point of view,” he said.
Asked about both teams starting after a long break, Simmons: “It’s a plus, because England hasn’t come from a tour recently, and we’ve just been playing cricket at home.
“Because in a normal situation we would have been coming from camps and England would have been halfway through their season and the series would have been going on right now.
“So I think that is a plus for us, because it evens out things a little bit, with the fact they haven’t been playing competitive cricket for a while also,” he added.
West Indies had famously beaten England during the previous series between the two sides that was played in the Carribbean Islands. A draw in the series would be enough for them to retain the Wisden trophy.