West Indies and Ireland postpone second ODI, after visitors return five positive Covid tests

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Cricket Ireland (CI) have announced the postponement of tomorrow’s CG Insurance One-day International between the two nations, owing to five positive Covid-19 cases plus two injuries.

West Indies won the first ODI of the three-game series on Saturday and were due to face Ireland again on Tuesday and Friday at Sabina Park in Jamaica, with a solitary T20 International clash scheduled for Sunday. 

Photo: West Indies batsman Shamarh Brooks uses the long handle to clear the leg-side field during his knock of 93 on his ODI debut against Ireland on Saturday.

However, Ireland, already without Simi Singh and Ben White for Saturday’s match, were hit with more cases plus injuries, leaving them with ‘a severely depleted squad’.

“CWI and CI are in discussions to review the match schedule and are working to explore all possibilities for the series to be completed,” read the statement, issued by the CWI Media. “The five members of the Ireland team who have returned positive Covid-19 results remain in isolation under the care and supervision of the medical teams.”

The potential cancellation of the series would be a huge blow to both nations, who faced similar issues just last month. Ireland limped through two T20Is against USA in December but an outbreak of the coronavirus scuttled any hope of completing their scheduled three ODIs.

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A report on ESPN Cricinfo suggested that the Irish squad lacked the necessary discipline for these pandemic times.

“The Ireland squad members are understood to have been allowed to leave the team hotel periodically throughout the past week, including on Christmas Day,” stated ESPN reporter Peter Della Penna, “and were allowed to mix and mingle with travelling family members and partners. It was only after the first Ireland support staff member tested positive on December 27 that their players went into full isolation mode in their hotel rooms.”

Photo: Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie, his team’s top-scorer in the first ODI, dispatches a loose delivery square on the offside.
(Copyright Skysports)

The West Indies team was also unable to keep the virus at bay in Karachi, as nine members of their party tested positive for Covid-19. With a depleted squad, the Maroon Men lost all three T20Is to Pakistan before both cricket boards agreed to postpone their ODI fixtures.

When Ireland depart, West Indies are due to face England in five T20Is, starting on 22 January.

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