With a disastrous run of scores - 4, 5, 0, 0, 1 and 14 - during the West Indies’ tour of England in 2017, Shane Dowrich would have returned to the Caribbean a broken man, low on confidence.

England might boast the likes of Barbadian-born pace bowler Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad and James Anderson but according to West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Shane Dowrich, he likes his team’s bowling attack just fine.

Kraigg Brathwaite has not had a good time at the crease lately. In 2019, a score of 49 against the visiting English team in Antigua was his highest score for the year in what was a disastrous run as the West Indies Test opener.

West Indies captain Jason Holder said the Windies are not favourites for their upcoming series against England but his players are eager to get into action.

Cricket West Indies Chief Selector Roger Harper is suggesting that the structure of the West Indies team now in England for a three-Test series starting next month, and the expected playing conditions there, precluded the selection of Guyanese spinner Veerasammy Permaul.

Permaul, the 30-year-old slow left-arm orthodox spinner from Guyana, snared 50 wickets during the West Indies Championships that ended in March at an excellent average of 12.98. Speaking with Sportsmax.TV shortly after the season ended, he said he felt that the success he enjoyed would have put him closer to selection to the West Indies senior squad.

“Playing for the West Indies is always my goal every season I play,” he said, “but I wasn’t finding favour with the West Indies selectors. I don’t know how close I am to making the West Indies team, I would think after an excellent season like this one I am not far from playing for the West Indies again.”

However, according to Harper, a fellow Guyanese, Permaul’s success did not get him close enough.

“If you look at the structure of the team; the Test squad and the reserves, you realize that there are not many spinners in the party,” Harper said while speaking on the Mason and Guest talk show in Barbados on Tuesday.

“In England, we looked at the conditions you are likely to face there and the sort of bowlers we will need in the squad and (Rahkeem) Cornwall was selected as a spinner in the squad from his performance in his last Test match.

“Looking at the reserves we thought we would look at a replacement for the positions in the Test team…the panel went for the incumbent who was on the last tour.”

The decision to exclude Permaul did not go down well with Hilbert Foster President of the Berbice Cricket Board in Guyana. Permaul plays his domestic cricket in Berbice.

“The BCB would like to condemn in the strongest possible way the sick treatment being handed out to this outstanding son of Berbice and would like for an explanation to been given on his non-selection," Foster said.

"Has a decision been taken that Permaul's career is over at just 30 years old? Is there another unknown factor for his non-selection? Is he indisciplined? Is he considered just a regional bowler or is he too old?

"We deserve to know as the BCB is, without doubt, the hardest working cricket board in the Caribbean and we would not sit back and watch our cricketers being treated like a second class when they deserve better."

West Indies captain described the upcoming tour of England as a huge step as the team and support staff departed for the 2020 Sandals Tour of England on Monday evening. The touring party is expected to arrive in the United Kingdom on Tuesday.

The players arrived in Antigua earlier Monday on two charter flights that collected players from across the Caribbean during the course of the day. The West Indies will play three Tests during the seven-week tour in defence of the Wisden Trophy they won during their home series against England in 2019.

“This is a huge step forward in cricket and in sports in general as we travel over to England for this series. A lot has gone into the preparations for what will be a new phase in the game. I’m happy for the support and well-wishes we have been receiving from our loyal and dedicated fans once it was confirmed the tour would go-ahead. This has been a source of great inspiration,” said  Holder.

“We have a fantastic group of cricketers, coaches, medical staff and support staff and I know everyone is eagerly looking forward to the start of the first match when we can get back on the field of play. There is expectation in the air that we will defend the Wisden Trophy and we will certainly put in the work and give it our all to keep hold of it.”

On arrival into Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, members of the touring party will be tested again for COVID-19 prior to the seven-week tour during which they will live, train and play in a “bio-secure” environment, as part of the comprehensive medical and operational plans to ensure player and staff safety.

The bio-secure protocols will restrict movement in and out of the venues, so a group of reserve players will travel to train and help prepare the Test squad and ensure replacements are available in case of any injury.

Meanwhile, Floyd Reifer will join the coaching staff as batting coach. He will fill in for Monty Desai, who is based in India but is unable to travel due to travel restrictions. He will join the other members of the coaching staff that includes Phil Simmons (Head Coach) and Roddy Estwick (Assistant Coach), and Rayon Griffith (Assistant Coach).

Team analyst A.R. Srikkanth, who is s also based in India will work remotely from Bangaluru for the duration of the tour.

The medical support staff will be bolstered by the additions of Dr Praimanand Singh (Team Doctor), Neil Barry Jr (Physiotherapist), Nkoyo Meade (Massage Therapist) and Donald LaGuerre (Team Psychologist).

The series will feature three back-to-back Test matches for the Wisden Trophy, starting July 8. The first Test will be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton (July 8-12) with the second and third matches at Old Trafford in Manchester from July 16-20 and then July 24-28.

Test Squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer and Kemar Roach.

Reserve Players: Sunil Ambris, Joshua DaSilva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas and Jomel Warrican.

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