Thursday Dec 16 2021

Pak vs WI: West Indies tour hangs in the balance as five more from squad test COVID-19 positive

More West Indian players test positive for COVID-19 ahead of third T20I today. Photo: file
More West Indian players test positive for COVID-19 ahead of third T20I today. Photo: file

  • Five members of West Indies touring squad test positive for COVID-19, Cricket West Indies confirms. 
  • Shai Hope, left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein, all-rounder Justin Greaves along with an assistant coach and team physician have contracted coronavirus.
  • COVID tests of Pakistani squad came back negative.

KARACHI: Just hours ahead of the third and final T20I match between Pakistan and West Indies that is set to take place at Karachi's National Stadium today (December 16), five more West Indian players and support staff tested positive for COVID-19, Cricket West Indies confirmed in a statement Thursday morning.

"Three players: wicketkeeper/batsman Shai Hope, left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein, allrounder Justin Greaves; along with Assistant Coach Roddy Estwick, and Team Physician Dr Akshai Mansingh returned positive results in the latest round of testing carried out by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)," the statement said.

All three players will therefore miss the upcoming matches and all five individuals will remain isolated from the rest of the West Indies squad and are now under the care and supervision provided by the medical officials, the WI Cricket statement read.

They will remain in isolation for 10 days or until they return negative PCR test results.

With a total of six players now ruled out of the tour due to COVID-19 and a finger injury to Devon Thomas (sustained in the 1st T20I), CWI and PCB Officials will be meeting Thursday morning, once all members of the touring party have been tested again, to determine whether the tour can continue.

Earlier, Barbadian publication Nation News had reported that the COVID tests of the Pakistani squad, on the other hand, came back negative.

On Saturday night, before the first Twenty20 began at the National Stadium, three visiting West Indian cricketers and a member of the team staff had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell, all-rounders Roston Chase, Kyle Mayers, and a non-coaching staff member “returned positive tests in Karachi and will therefore be unavailable to participate in the upcoming Pakistan series,” the CWI had said in a statement.

All four of them were fully vaccinated, the CWI said, adding they showed no major symptoms of the disease. However, they are in isolation for ten days, the CWI statement said.

“Our arrival testing protocols in Pakistan have confirmed four COVID-19 positives,” CWI chief executive Johnny Grave had said. However, he made it clear that despite the positive tests, the West Indian team’s tour of Pakistan will not be affected.

“These were confirmed whilst the players and staff were still in room isolation, so despite this significant setback to our preparation plans, we are confident that the tour can continue as everyone else returned negative PCRs before their arrival into Pakistan and two negative PCRs since they have been in Karachi.

“The risk of COVID-19 infection is impossible to remove completely from a cricket tour, in spite of the fact that many of our players have been living in bio-secure bubbles almost continuously since before the CPL."

Cottrell, Chase and Mayers were all included in the squad for a three-match T20I series. Chase was also selected for the three One-day Internationals that follow in Karachi between December 18 and 22.