According to press reports, several senior West Indies players have opted out of the West Indies’ upcoming Bangladesh tour due to health and safety concerns.
The West Indies tour of Bangladesh is set to take place between January 10 and February 11.
However, some players have cited “bubble fatigue,” given their participation in many bio-secure bubbles in recent months.
Cricket West Indies (CWI) CEO Johnny Grave reportedly did not confirm nor deny the reports but said players opting out of tours have been commonplace in the current pandemic.
All-rounder Andre Russell, top-order batsmen Evin Lewis, and Lendl Simmons opted out of the recent tour of New Zealand, while Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul, and Darren Bravo had pulled out of the England tour in the summer.
CWI medical panel member Dr. Akshai Mansingh and security manager Paul Slowe visited Bangladesh earlier this month to assess their board’s COVID-19 countermeasures.
They expressed satisfaction with their findings and consequently, CWI greenlighted the tour.
However, some players are reluctant to make the trip because of the coronavirus plague in that country.
Bangladesh is one of the hardest hit countries, reporting over 500,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 7,479 deaths albeit those numbers are less than when the Windies tour England this summer, and less was known about the disease.
Initial reports also noted that both captain Jason Holder and vice-captain Roston Chase have made themselves unavailable, and out-of-favor batsman Shai Hope also reportedly rejected the invitation to play.
Earlier this year, West Indies captain Jason Holder brought up the issue of bubble fatigue, having been involved in the West Indies tours of England and New Zealand as well as the Indian Premier League and Australian Big Bash League.
That said, this may be a welcome opportunity for players such as Nkrumah Bonner, Sunil Ambris, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquina Mindley, Shane Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas, and Jomel Warrican – all were selected as reserved players in Windies tour of England, earlier this year.
At the same time, it also provides an opportunity for other current players to consolidate their position on the team.
Nigel Bell, Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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