West Indies frustrated by rain on day one of final warm-up ahead of England Test series

West Indies were frustrated by the rain in Manchester as day one of their final internal warm-up game ahead of the Test series against England was entirely wiped out.

The tourists took part in a three-day run out at Emirates Old Trafford last week but a second four-day fixture at the same venue has yet to begin due to Monday’s inclement weather.


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Batsman Jermaine Blackwood will be hoping for runs when play does begin, after scoring just three and 15 in West Indies’ opening practice game.

The Jamaican averages 55.33 against England, hitting his sole Test ton against the side in Antigua in 2015, and believes he can perform strongly against them once again as well as prove he is more than just a dasher.

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Blackwood, who has played only one Test since 2017 – that coming as a concussion substitute against India in Kingston last August – said: “I always love to play against England because they are one of the best teams in the world and they have one of the best attacks in the world.

“(James) Anderson and (Stuart) Broad are world-class bowlers but once I bat some time against them I know I will score runs.

“They are wonderful bowlers but once I can wear them down and let them bowl spell after spell, that is going to be the key thing for me in this series.

“Over the years people have got the wrong impression about me, like I’m a ball beater or whatever. But it’s just natural for me, I’m from the Caribbean, it’s only natural for me to score runs.

“I want to add a little bit more to my game and bat time. I’m really putting the mental work in and once I bat time, I will score runs. This opportunity has come and I have to grab it with both hands. I have something to prove.”

West Indies coach Phil Simmons will watch his side’s final warm-up from the balcony of his hotel room having gone into self-isolation as a precaution after leaving the camp on compassionate grounds on Friday.

Simmons, who departed to attend his father-in-law’s funeral, has twice tested negative for coronavirus since returning and will have another test on Wednesday before being allowed to re-join his squad.

Cricket West Indies medical chief Donovan Bennett said: “Phil Simmons adhered to the process of managed exit and re-entry as discussed with and agreed on between CWI and the ECB.

“These contingencies were put in place before the tour was agreed on and all exits from the bio-secure environment must be agreed by both medical teams, before concessions are given.”

West Indies’ first warm-up, which pitted a side captained by Test skipper Jason Holder against a team lead by Kraigg Brathwaite, ended in a draw.

Left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer completed a five-wicket haul in just 11 balls for the Brathwaite XI, including trapping Holder lbw for a golden duck, while Brathwaite, Dowrich, Shai Hope, Sunil Ambris, Sheyne Moseley and Shamarh Brooks each struck a fifty.

West Indies will play England at The Ageas Bowl from July 8, before the behind-closed-doors three-Test series moves to Emirates Old Trafford for the final two games, from July 16 and July 24 respectively.

West Indies will wear the Black Lives Matter logo on their Test shirts, having received permission from Watford captain Troy Deeney, whose partner Alisha Hosannah created the design which includes a clenched fist of solidarity within a circle.

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