West Indies have left Pakistan for the Caribbean after a COVID-19 outbreak in the camp forced the postponement of the One-Day International series set to bowl off Saturday in Karachi.
While the final Twenty20 International of the three-match series went ahead as planned on Thursday, the three-match ODI series has been shifted until next June, Cricket West Indies said in a statement.
The decision follows a morning meeting between the regional governing body and the Pakistan Cricket Board, in the wake of another batch of positive COVID tests among the West Indies touring party.
Four members – including three players – tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the start of the series last week and with Devon Thomas having picked up a finger injury in the first T20 International, West Indies found their ranks depleted.
“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 World Cup Super League, will be postponed and rescheduled for early June 2022,” CWI said.
“This will provide the West Indies with an equal opportunity to field their best available players for the World Cup qualification matches.
“The West Indies team members, who returned negative results following Wednesday’s PCR and today’s Rapid Antigen tests, will depart from Pakistan after tonight’s match.”
A round of Rapid Antigen tests was carried out on Thursday morning as part of the PCB protocols and the remaining 21 members of the West Indies contingent – including 15 players – all returned negative results.
As a result, the decision was taken to go ahead with the third T20 International.
Batsman Shai Hope, left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein and uncapped all-rounder Justin Greaves, all tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, along with assistant coach Roddy Estwick and team physician Dr Akshai Mansingh.
This followed similar positive tests for left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell, all-rounders Roston Chase and Kyle Mayers, and a non-coaching member of the support staff last week, following the squad’s arrival in Pakistan.
The latest positive cases will now spend the next ten days in isolation and must return a negative test before they are released and allowed to fly home.
“Those who have tested positive will complete their isolation in Karachi before their travel arrangements are finalised to allow them to rejoin their families in time for Christmas celebrations,” CWI confirmed.
The tour was expected to wrap up December 22 but with the latest positive cases, it is unlikely some members currently in isolation will return to the Caribbean until after Christmas.