As 5 more in WI squad test positive for COVID-19, fate of PakvWI hangs in balance

Dec 16, 2021: Just hours before the third and final T20I match between Pakistan and West Indies today (December 16) at the National Stadium in Karachi, five more West Indian players and support staff tested positive for COVID-19, Cricket West Indies Confirmed In a statement Thursday morning.

The statement read, “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),”

So all three players will miss the upcoming matches and all five will be isolated from the rest of the West Indies squad and are now under the care and supervision provided by medical authorities, WI Cricket’s statement reads. They will remain in isolation for 10 days or so until they return negative PCR test results. A total of six players have now been ruled out of the tour due to a finger injury sustained by Devon Thomas (previously retained in T20I).

Earlier, 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. The CWI had then said that 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,” though the four of them were fully vaccinated, the CWI said, adding they showed no major symptoms, they were put in isolation for 10 days.

CWI chief executive Johnny Grave said 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.”

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