WIPA backs protocols for Bangladesh tour
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
The West Indies Players Association (WIPA) says it has no qualms over the safety of the West Indies squad on the upcoming tour of Bangladesh, and is supporting the COVID-19 health protocols implemented for the series.
Secretary Wayne Lewis said WIPA had held extensive discussions with Cricket West Indies (CWI) over the tour, and were convinced the protocols were consistent with what had been executed on recent previous tours.
“We’ve had absolutely none (worry over protocols) because [they’re] the same exact protocols as what transpired in England and also in New Zealand,” Lewis told Starcom Radio’s ‘Mason and Guest’ cricket show.
“We’ve had extensive meetings with Cricket West Indies and their team and our team, led by our Dr Andre Cooke, who guided us throughout that process, because we’re not medical doctors.
“We have no skill set for that so we had our doctor, who sat in on all those meetings, and we had extensive conversations about everything.
“We’ve crossed all the Ts and dotted all the Is as it relates to the tour, and therefore we were happy at the end, based on a [reconnaissance tour] that was done by Dr [Akshai] Mansingh.”
Ten first-choice players declined selection last week for the Bangladesh tour, which comprises three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Tests, with the CWI citing “COVID-19-related concerns or personal fears” as the reason behind their absence.
Selectors have been forced to pull together a second-string side for the ODI and Test tours, with seasoned opener Kraigg Brathwaite asked to lead the Test unit and Trinidadian Jason Mohammed recalled for the first time in nearly three years to captain the ODI squad.
The CWI agreed to the tour after Mansingh, a director and member of its medical advisory committee, carried out a review of the facilities and protocols in a trip to Bangladesh last November, and gave the safety mechanisms a huge endorsement.
And Lewis said WIPA had reviewed Mansingh’s report and had no reason to believe players would be placed at risk during the January 10 to February 15 tour.
“We looked through his report and we did our own check as to exactly what is happening in Bangladesh as well, so we’re pretty confident,” Lewis said.
“I would not be part of a team to agree to allow the youngsters to tour if I was not 100 per cent certain that the protocols were in place.
Players opting out of tour
Jason Holder (Test captain)
Kieron Pollard (ODI captain)