CWI CEO Johnny Grave has stated that he respects Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul’s decision of not travelling to the UK for the Test series citing safety reasons. CWI said it ‘fully accepts and respects’ the decision and would ‘certainly not hold it against’ them in future selections.
After the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed the itinerary for the Windies Test series, starting July 9, the visiting board announced a 25-man touring party. However, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul declined the invitation with Nkrumah Bonner and Chemar Holder winning their first Test call-ups. The trio cited concerns about leaving their families for seven weeks and how quickly they would be able to see them on their return to the Caribbean at the end of July.
CWI chief executive Johnny Grave, however, stated that the board informed the players who were "comfortable" travelling without any "nagging doubts" and they are absolutely fine by the decisions taken by the three players. Grave further added that the board will not hold that against the three players who have valid reasons from their part.
"Keemo Paul is the sole breadwinner in his entire household and wider family. He was really concerned if something happened to him how his family would cope. He wrote a personal note to us to explain it was with a heavy heart that he had decided not to tour but that he just didn't feel comfortable going to England. He wrote passionately about how hard a decision it was for him and how much he loves playing for West Indies, but with consultation with his family, he doesn't feel he can leave them and doesn't want to go on the tour," Grave told ESPN Cricinfo.
"Darren Bravo had concerns about his health and any consequences that it may have on his young family. He also mentioned he made his decision with great remorse as it was always a huge honour for him to play for West Indies. So, yes, perfectly valid reasons and the ones that we fully respect. We were never going to force or try to coerce and we didn't ask them to reconsider."
“Hetmyer didn't feel comfortable from a safety point of view, leaving his home, leaving his family and heading over to England".
As a matter of fact, both Hetmyer and Paul belong to Guyana where the number of Covid-19 cases is under 200. While Hetmyer has been a Test regular, the other two have massively struggled to make an impact in Test cricket of late.