Quarantined Windies group tests negative for COVID-19
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (CMC):
A third test on a group of West Indies players and support staff – including Test captain Jason Holder and Twenty20 International (T20) captain Kieron Pollard – currently enduring managed isolation for the COVID-19 virus on the Tour of New Zealand have all returned negative.
New Zealand Cricket, the governing body for the sport in the country, made the announcement in a media release yesterday (late Tuesday – Jamaica time) that the final test of three, which the group had to undergo before being released from quarantine, showed no adverse findings.
“This means all are on track to leave managed isolation (yesterday), starting from 10 a.m. (local time), once the final clearance has been issued,” an NZC media release said.
The group, which also comprises T20I vice-captain Nicholas Pooran, fellow left-handed batsman Shimron Hetmyer, all-rounder Keemo Paul, left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell, left-arm spinner Fabian Allen and assistant coach Trevor Penny, had the final test on Monday.
The group will leave the managed isolation facility today, one day before the Windies face the Blackcaps in the first Twenty20 International at Eden Park in Auckland – and on the same day, an advance group starts a four-day match against New Zealand ‘A’ at John Davies Oval in Queenstown.
The players and support staff in isolation and the outcome of the tests came sharp focus after New Zealand health officials prevented the advance group of the Windies from training two weeks ago, because members of the squad had flouted strict protocols in place at the managed isolation facility.
There was no indication that any of the members of the advanced group of the Windies squad left or had contact with anyone outside of the managed isolation facility in which they had been confined after they arrived in the country.
Players in the advance group were reportedly caught on surveillance cameras sharing food and socialising in the facility, which was against the strict rules of managed isolation in place in the country.
The news of the final negative test will come as a great relief to the current group of players and support staff in quarantine, because they will have one more day before they leave the managed isolation facility.
It will allow them greater freedom of movement to train and prepare for their series of three T20s and two Tests against the Blackcaps, and the ability to freely mix with the general population in the country.