A positive Covid-19 test has resulted in the last-minute postponement of the scheduled second One-Day International between the West Indies and Australia at Kensington Oval, officials announced.
In incredible scenes, news of the suspension came through following a delay to the start of the match after Aussie captain Alex Carey had already won the toss and chose to bat first.
Players were seen returning to their respective dressing rooms mere minutes away from the start of the match.
It was supposed to be a special moment for fast bowler Riley Meredith, who was set to make his ODI debut. It turned sour just minutes after he received his cap from injured appointed captain Aaron Finch, before the toss was taken.
There are now fears the rest of the tour will be abandoned while Australia’s Tour of Bangladesh has been plunged into uncertainty.
“The second ODI between West Indies and Australia has been postponed due a positive Covid-19 test result from a non-playing member of the West Indies team,” said a Cricket West Indies statement.
“This decision was taken after the toss at Kensington Oval once the result was known due to the Covid-19 protocols.
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“All members of both teams and match officials will be retested today. A decision on when the match will replayed will be made at a later date once the test results are known.”
The International Cricket Council said that all personnel inside the bio-secure bubble for the series will be placed into isolation.
Cricket West Indies chief executive Johnny Grave subsequently expressed the hope that the results of a fresh round of PCR tests will be known on Saturday (AEST).
After that a determination will be made on the remaining two ODIs of the tour.
Australia won the first match by 133 runs on the DLS method two days earlier at the same venue.
Friday’s postponement not only jeopardises the remaining two ODIs of this tour but also Australia’s tour to Bangladesh which was only confirmed on Friday and for which the squad was supposed to depart following the scheduled final match on Saturday, also at Kensington Oval.
“Unfortunate,” tweeted former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop.
“It’s the risk taken in these testing times. Hope the person is not too adversely affected.” Pakistan are also due to tour the Caribbean for five Twenty20 Internationals as well as two Test matches.
The T20 series starts on July 27, also in Barbados.
The two Tests will be staged in Jamaica from August 12-16 and August 20-24.