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Monday 20th March 2023 / 27 Syaaban 1444

West Indies coach sees empty stadiums in England as an advantage

LONDON: West Indies coach Phil Simmons said the lack of supporters at matches and facing a rusty England, who have not played competitive cricket in more than two months, can benefit the visiting side during their three-match Test series next month.
The matches will be the first since cricket was halted by the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March. It will be played in a biosecure 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.”
When asked about both teams starting after a long break, Simmons said it is an advantage because England has not played a tour recently while the West Indies have been playing cricket at home.
“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 said.
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