WI players clear 3rd COVID test, travel to Auckland for first T20I vs NZ

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25 Nov 2020 | 09:08 PM
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WI players clear 3rd COVID test, travel to Auckland for first T20I vs NZ

"All members of the West Indies team in isolation tested negative for COVID-19 on their final tests at their managed isolation facility," Cricket West Indies (CWI) said in a statement

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The entire West Indies contingent, including limited-overs skipper Kieron Pollard, who were in quarantine after arriving in New Zealand, on Wednesday, cleared the third and final round of COVID-19 test and will now leave for Auckland to play the first T20I on Friday.

Most of the members of the West Indies squad had arrived from the UAE after competing in the Indian Premier League on November 14.

"All members of the West Indies team in isolation tested negative for COVID-19 on their final tests at their managed isolation facility," Cricket West Indies (CWI) said in a statement.

"They will now leave the facility in Christchurch and travel to Auckland as they continue preparations for the first T20 International on Friday."

"These include white-ball captain Kieron Pollard who will lead the team in the opening match against the Black Caps at Eden Park on Friday night (2 am Eastern Caribbean/1 am Jamaica)."

The series begins with the opening T20I in Auckland on November 27, followed by the second and third game in Mount Maunganui on November 29 and 30.

It will be followed by two Test matches in Hamilton (December 3-7) and Wellington (December 11-15).

While Pollard will be the leading the T20 team, Jason Holder will captain the Test side.

"Test captain Jason Holder was also in the quarantine in Christchurch and he will now travel to Queenstown to play in the four-day warm-up match against New Zealand "A" at John Davies Oval," CWI said.

As many as seven West Indies players, including T20I skipper Kieron Pollard, Test captain Jason Holder, Fabian Allen, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran and Oshane Thomas, participated in the lucrative IPL.

"The group of players and support staff arrived in New Zealand after participation in the Indian Premier League and underwent a 14-day managed mandatory isolation.

"They were able to train in small groups after their first COVID-19 tests and had three tests while in isolation."

The rest of the West Indies contingent had arrived in New Zealand on October 30 and had been in 14-day quarantine. They were briefly stripped of the right to train while in managed isolation after players were found to have breached quarantine rules.

The squad then cleared the third round of testing and played the first warm-up against New Zealand A between November 20-22 in Queenstown.

The visitors will play another warm-up match against New Zealand 'A' starting on Thursday and West Indies head coach Phil Simmons hoped the team will produce another strong show.

"We need to see the same thing again with the batsmen. The big partnerships. The big scores. And, maybe, a few more players getting big scores and getting time at the wicket. That is most important in this game," Simmons said.

"The best thing that can happen is that we win the game, so that we go into the Test series with that kind of confidence behind us. For me, those are the important things.

"The bowlers they continue to step up every time we go into a Test match, so I am not too worried about the bowlers."

Picture courtesy: Windies Cricket on Twitter

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