Ahead of the six-match limited-overs series against Pakistan, the West Indies camp has been hit with a massive blow as Roston Chase, Kyle Mayers and Sheldon Cottrell have tested positive for COVID-19. Cricket West Indies (CWI) confirmed the development ahead of the start of the T20I series, scheduled to begin on Monday (December 13). However, other players have returned negative results and the series is all set to go ahead as planned.
Chase, Mayers, and Cottrell though won’t be available for the series. The West Indies players landed in Karachi on December 9, with all the players and support staff undergoing quarantine. During the regular rounds of testing upon reaching Karachi, the trio along with a non-coaching member returned positive for the virus. The four members are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic.
They are currently in isolation away from the team. West Indies are already grappling with injury issues and the non-availability of players due to personal reasons. Keiron Pollard is unavailable due to injury. Andre Russell and Shimron Hetmyer have opted out of the tour. Now, the unavailability of Chase, Mayers, and Cottrell is a serious concern for the team.
“Our arrival testing protocols in Pakistan have confirmed four (4) COVID-19 positives, Grave was quoted by a CWI release. “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 prior to 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. This unusual loss of three players from our squad will seriously impact our team preparations, but the rest of the squad are in good spirits and will begin training today ahead of our first game on Monday.