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CWI, Pakistan postpone white ball series to allow WI ‘equal opportunity to field their best available players’

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have agreed to postpone the Homage Series between the two cricket nations in Karachi in the wake of nine positive Covid-19 test results.

Both teams agreed to face each other at the Karachi National Stadium today in the final of three T20 internationals, but it will be their last meeting this year as they announced that the second leg of the series has been officially postponed until next June.

Photo: West Indies stand-in T20I captain Nicholas Pooran (left) poses with Pakistan captain Babar Azam before the start of the Homage Series.

“On Thursday morning and as part of the PCB Covid-19 Protocols, rapid antigen tests were conducted on the remaining 15 West Indies players and six player support personnel,” stated a joint release from CWI and PCB. “All 21 members of the West Indies touring party have returned negative test results. As such, Thursday’s T20 International (T20I) proceeded as planned.

“However, taking into consideration both the teams’ welfare as well as limited resources in the West Indies side for the ODIs, it has been agreed that the series, which forms part of the ICC Men’s Cricket Word Cup Super League, will be postponed and rescheduled for early June 2022.

“This will provide the West Indies with an equal opportunity to field their best available players for the World Cup qualification matches.”

Ironically, the makeshift West Indies team produced their best performance of the tour with the bat today, as they pummelled the hosts en route to a sizeable total of 207/3.

Photo: West Indies batsman Brandon King.
(Copyright AFP)

Openers Brandon King and Shamarh Brooks managed 66 runs off the Powerplay—a record against Pakistan—before King was bowled by Mohammed Wasim for 43. Brooks, who was promoted to open owing to a positive test result by Shai Hope, scored 49 while stand-in captain Nicholas Pooran scored 64 off 37 balls and Darren Bravo, who missed the first two T20Is owing to illness, contributed 34.

Pakistan already have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match T20I series, though.

The players missing due to positive Covid-19 tests are Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Justin Greaves and Kyle Mayers. Assistant coach Roddy Estwick and team physician Dr Akshai Mansingh were two of the three staff members who also tested positive.

West Indies’ next international engagement is a white ball series against the Republic of Ireland, which comprises three One-day Internationals (ODI) and one T20I and bowls off on 8 January 2022 in Kingston, Jamaica.

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