The West Indies squad, on their second Test tour this year, have been accused of contravening their strict COVID-19 protocols within the Managed Isolation Facility (MIF) in Christchurch, New Zealand.
As a result of the allegations, all members of the West Indies touring party will now be unable to train for the remainder of the quarantine period and have to complete their quarantine within the MIF only. This is at the request of the New Zealand Ministry of Health to Cricket West Indies (CWI).
CWI, who have begun an internal investigation into the reported incidents, released a statement today (11 November) that read:
“CWI is in full support of the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s position.
“From the information we have received so far, we have been told that the incidents in question included some players compromising the bubble integrity by mixing between two separate West Indies bubbles into which the touring party had been split – by sharing food and socialising in hallways.
“There is no evidence, or suggestion, that any members of the touring party left the facility or that any unauthorised persons accessed it.”
The Windies touring party all returned two negative COVID-19 tests before leaving the Caribbean to embark on the five-match tour of New Zealand, and since their arrival have undergone two further tests where all results were once more negative.
Since reaching New Zealand, the tourists were legally required to remain within the bio-secure quarantine facility, which is run and managed by the New Zealand government, for 14 days.
Yet the New Zealand government had granted them an exemption from the requirements of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine Order, to facilitate team training in managed groups at New Zealand Cricket’s High Performance Centre at Lincoln University in Christchurch during the period of quarantine.
The arrangements within this bio-secure environment had originally been set as:
Day 0–3 – No bubbles with individuals to self-isolate in rooms and make zero contact with anyone else;
Day 4–7 – Maximum bubble size of 15 people. The tourists to split up with those in each respective bubble able to visit the gym, socialise and train together, and;
Days 8–14 – Maximum bubble size of 20 people. The tourists to split up with those in each respective bubble able to visit the gym, socialise and train together.
Those remaining members of the overall Windies squad have completed their involvement in the professional T20 competition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE, so will arrive shortly to join those who set off for New Zealand from Barbados on 27 October. They will be subjected to taking COVID-19 tests and quarantine before they can compete in any of the matches.
The five-match tour (27 November-15 December) comprises a trio of Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) followed by a pair of Test matches, with the Windies keen to improve on their indifferent displays in July’s tour to England.
Having scored just seven victories from their past 20 Tests, their last success was comfortably seeing off hosts England in the 1st Test at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl in Southampton, leaves the Windies languishing at world no.8 in the ICC Test rankings.
Windies Test squad
Jason Holder (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach.
Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Jayden Seales.
Windies T20I squad
Kieron Pollard (captain), Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams.
New Zealand v West Indies tour schedule
Eden Park, Auckland
Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
Seddon Park, Hamilton
Basin Reserve, Wellington
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