West Indies Lose Training Privileges After Defying Quarantine Protocol
Introduction to West Indies training privileges
Keeping in view the increasing threat of Covid-19, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has assured temporary changes to its playing rules, which incorporate the ban on the use of saliva to shine the ball. In addition to that, the international body has issued a release where home umpires are allowed in the international series. The ICC Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) has also approved the proposal forwarded by the Anil Kumbleled Cricket Committee. The committee led by Anil Kumble aims to mitigate the threats that are potentially the COVID-19 virus.
Furthermore, the committee is also bound to ensure the protection of players together with the match officials when matches are resumed. There has been a detailed published guideline by the International Cricket Council (ICC) that incorporate the safe resumption of cricket to help the members in resuming cricket activity in their countries.
In contrast, the guidelines that have been issued by the ICC do not possess any clear answers as to when the games can be initiated in various parts of the world. Rather, the guidelines do assure with clear instructions and framework as to when the members can practically resume cricket in a manner that guards the team and official against the risk of transmission of infection with the COVID-19 virus.
The ICC has recommended all its Members to abide by these guidelines as the foundation to build their own rules and strategies for resuming cricket activity in compliance. It was made clear that all the activities about the resumption of cricket should accompany the local and national government regulations and to ensure the cricket community execute the essential safety measures when resuming cricket.
Among the detailed guidelines, players and the umpires are required to keep social distancing standards on and off the field both. Players are not allowed to hand over personal items such as caps, sunglasses and sweaters to the umpires due to disease transmission risk. In addition to that, the players must make use of a hand sanitiser frequently once they have had interaction with the ball. Umpires are also clearly instructed to make use of hand gloves to handle the ball.
West Indies lose training privileges
These important guidelines by the ICC were required to be executed effectively when international cricket resumes after being forced to stop in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The report from New Zealand has exposed that squad of West Indies had repeatedly violated the rules of quarantine during their stay in a hotel in Christchurch. According to the investigation, it was revealed that some members of the squad were engaged in socializing in the hallways of their hotel. In addition to that, the team members were observed distributing their food among the two distinct bubble rooms that the touring party had been allocated. Conclusively, the management decided that all members engaged in the violation will have to face the investigation and that the training process will be denied for the rest of their time in the bubble. According to the sources, it was disclosed that the halt to their training ended the other week later.
The investigation took place among the members who violated the isolation rules. The CCTV monitoring cameras have reportedly confirmed the movement of the squad outside their bubbles and sharing and exchanging of food despite strict regulations. According to the Ministry of Health, the incident took place under the premises of the hotel and that general public was safe from any kind of threat or communicable disease. During an interview, Dr Ashley Bloomfield explained that together with other sports team that has arrived in New Zealand, West Indies team was specially granted an exemption from the approved isolation rules that applied to all the other teams and individuals. The exemption comprised of availing larger bubbles and training for their international sport. He also added that hosting such a wonderful team is not less than a privilege in any way but everyone has to abide by the rules. It is equally important to safeguard the team, staff and communities from the life-threatening disease Covid-19. Despite clear instructions and agreement to abide by the parameters of the exemption, the team showed a careless attitude which was beyond the expectation.
Strict Isolation for West Indies
As per the strict instructions, the West Indies squad went on the 14-day quarantine period and released again for the test of Covid-19 symptoms after the completion of the isolation period. It was then dependent on the local Medical Officer of Health to decide if the team qualifies to meet low-risk signs for their release from bubbles. The permission would be followed by their future plans including their travelling to Queenstown for the dual warm-up games against New Zealand. Their fate completely relied on the decision of ministry who even possess the right to extend their quarantine period beyond the guaranteed time.
In an interview, the NZC claimed that no evidence has yet been found to prove that the squad left the facility. NZC was also of the opinion that they have complete faith over the measure taken by the Ministry of Health and Government and fully appreciate their concern. To a question, NZC claimed that they will continue to work with the team of West Indies, their Government and the pertaining agencies to ensure that same incident won’t be repeated again in the future.
Cricket West Indies has already commenced an interior investigation into the reported events and issued a statement claiming that the Cricket West Indies (CWI) was well-versed of the fact that how some members of New Zealand touring squad had intervened the severe COVID-19 protocols within the team’s Managed Isolation Facility in Christchurch. It was also stated by CWI that the New Zealand Ministry of Health has recommended them to restrict all members of the West Indies touring party to halt their training for the rest of the quarantine period. In addition to that, the team members ought to finish their quarantine within the Managed Isolation Facility only. In this manner, the CWI showed complete support of the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s position.