BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE West Indies players have been criticised by the Government of New Zealand and placed in further quarantine ahead of their series beginning later this month, after what was deemed a breach of the quarantine bubble protocols.
That has resulted in them being barred for training in Christchurch ahead of their first match scheduled for November 27 in Auckland.
In addressing the matter, Cricket West Indies explained that the New Zealand Ministry of Health advised that all members of the West Indies touring party would now be unable to train for the remainder of the quarantine period and would have to complete their quarantine within the Managed Isolation Facility only.
This stemmed from the fact that the squad was divided into two groups, which were barred from cross-mingling with each other; however, several players flouted the bubble and now the entire Windies contingent will remain in quarantine.
“From the information, we have received so far, we have been told that the incidents in question included some players compromising the bubble integrity by mixing between two separate West Indies bubbles into which the touring party had been split, by sharing food and socialising in hallways. There is no evidence, or suggestion, that any members of the touring party left the facility, or that any unauthorised persons accessed it,” the CWI statement read.
Also in its statement, CWI said it is in “full support of the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s position”.
Though CWI did not indicate how the discovery was made, it is understood that no exposure was made to the outside world.
But Cricinfo reported that CWI’s CEO Johnny Grave indicated that they are awaiting official CCTV video footage as an investigation has been launched, and it is understood that four to five players might be involved.
All players with the exception of those who competed in the just-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) tested negative before departing the region and upon arrival in the Asian Pacific Nation.
“The players underwent their final scheduled tests this morning and, results permitting, are scheduled to leave the Managed Isolation Facility on Friday to travel to Queenstown ahead of two warm-up matches against New Zealand ‘A’,” CWI disclosed.