CWI having to make big decisions in ‘tough times’, says Skerritt
(CMC) – Cricket West Indies president, Ricky Skerritt, said the board had been forced into “significant decisions” in the “tough times” created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and believes the correct decision was made in postponing the One-Day International series against Pakistan.
West Indies were scheduled to face Pakistan in three ODIs starting tomorrow but CWI and the Pakistan Cricket Board agreed to scrap the series after five members of the touring party’s contingent tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Last week, four persons – three players and a non-coaching member of the support staff – also returned positive tests following the squad’s arrival in Pakistan.
The series will now be played next June and the remaining members of the West Indies touring party will flew home yesterday following the third Twenty20 International at the National Stadium.
“Unfortunately there have been too many of our squad who have had to be isolated and our squad simply cannot continue to compete under such mental pressure, both on and off the field,” Skerritt said yesterday.
“However, we are pleased we were able to complete the T20 series and have already identified a window in 2022 for rescheduling the ODI series.
“[These are] tough times. We have had to make some significant decisions but I think that all is well that ends well.”
West Indies made history last year when they became the first international side to undertake a tour during the pandemic, with a three-Test series away to England in July.
The Caribbean side then toured New Zealand in November and December before travelling to Bangladesh at the start of this year for ODIs and Tests.
After seeing its home schedule decimated in 2020 due to the pandemic, CWI successfully hosted Sri Lanka, South Africa, Australia and Pakistan for a combination of white ball and Tests between March and August this year.
Despite the challenges of staging cricket during the pandemic, Skerritt reiterated that the Pakistan series marked the first time CWI had been forced to abandon a tour for COVID-related reasons.
“After more than 16 months of fighting against the risk of COVID infections and after facing disruptions all around the world – both in overseas and home tours – this is the first time unfortunately that we have been forced to end a tour prematurely,” he pointed out.
Left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell along with all-rounders Roston Chase and Kyle Mayers tested positive on arrival last week and CWI confirmed late Wednesday that batsman Shai Hope, left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein and uncapped all-rounder Justin Greaves, had also tested positive.
Assistant coach Roddy Estwick and team physician Dr Akshai Mansingh were among the five positives on Wednesday.
All members of the contingent who tested positives are required to spend ten days in isolation and must return a negative
test before being released and allowed to fly home.
Skerritt confirmed that none of those who tested positive were seriously ill, however.
“Fortunately, we have one of our medical committee members on site and symptoms have been quite mild,” he stressed.
West Indies lost yesterday’s final T20 International by seven wickets to suffer a 3-0 drubbing in the series.