Amidst all the excitement and celebration surrounding the West Indies’ four-wicket win over England on Sunday, fans of the Caribbean side might have missed out on something else to celebrate.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons was granted permission to attend his father-in-law’s funeral in England last Friday. That’s the word from Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave, who was responding to queries from Sportsmax.TV.

Simmons has been self-isolating since and will only be permitted to re-join the team on Thursday, July 2, if he returns two negative Covid-19 tests.

However, his decision to leave the bio-secure location has raised some concerns and questions over whether the head coach unilaterally decided to leave the facility where the team has been preparing for the coming three-Test series beginning July 8.

Grave assured that Simmons received permission from the Chief Medical Officers of Cricket West Indies and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

“Yes, he left to go to his father-in-law's funeral on Friday and is now going through the re-entry process having had his whole exit and entry approved and managed by the medical teams,” Grave said.

In Simmons’ absence, assistant coaches Roddy Estwick and Rayon Griffith will oversee the Windies four-day, first-class fixture that starts on Monday.

Floyd Reifer will be the batting coach

Despite picking a minor injury during the West Indies squad match at the Emirates, team skipper Jason Holder is expected to be fit in time for the start of the first Test in the #RaiseTheBat series on July 8.

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.

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