Facing a busy schedule in 2022 amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Cricket West Indies says risk management will be a key factor for the organization over the coming months in determining the success of its international engagements.
The Caribbean’s senior men and women have been active throughout 2021 and will face an even busier schedule in 2022, with the 50+ Women’s World Cup scheduled for New Zealand and the Men’s World Cup Twenty20 scheduled for Australia.
The Under-19 side, dubbed the Rising Stars, will also take part in the ICC Under-19 World Cup starts next month in the Caribbean, further adding to an already complex international route for CWI.
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However, general manager Johnny Grave said the regional governing body was already prepared for the challenges associated with hosting multiple tours during a pandemic, but believed it could do so while protecting players’ health and safety. and officials.
“We have a lot of cricket coming up in January,” Grave said.
“We have the Under 19 Cricket World Cup where we will be hosting 16 teams from around the world coming to the Caribbean, as well as Ireland coming to Jamaica for some white ball cricket and also England at the end. January to Barbados for five T20s.
“So the start of the year is going to be very, very busy for us, so again, we’re going to manage the risk of COVID as best we can, working very closely with governments in the region, especially the Ministries of Health to ensure we keep our players, support staff and visiting teams as safe as possible, as well as the communities that kindly host our cricket.
He continued: “It is clear COVID is still here and all players and support staff are fully immunized which clearly manages and mitigates the risk of anyone becoming seriously ill.
“But we must be very vigilant at all times to protect ourselves and our colleagues, our friends, our families and our communities.
“So it’s going to be another busy year for Cricket West Indies, especially the start of the year, and we just hope we can get through cricket in the safest and most successful way possible.”
Just last week, CWI was forced to halt the one-day international phase of the tour in Pakistan, after nine members of the West Indies tour tested positive for COVID-19 during the series of three Twenty20 games.
Among the positive cases were six players, leaving tour managers struggling to build a meaningful squad for matches from December 18-22.
Just weeks earlier, the West Indies Women found themselves with a difficult journey home after the abrupt cancellation of the ICC 50 World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe, following the emergence of a new variant of COVID-19 in southern Africa.
With major nations like the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union bloc imposing travel restrictions on southern African countries, this meant that women from the West Indies were forced to travel to Oman, spending ten days in the Gulf State before being allowed to return to the Caribbean. .
“It’s been a tough few weeks for us with the women’s team having to return from Zimbabwe after ICC qualifying was abandoned due to travel disruptions and the uncertainty caused by this new variant,” said Grave.
“Fortunately, the women’s team is now back in the Caribbean…and I want to thank them for their understanding in what has been a very difficult situation.”
“They had to spend ten days in Oman going through a period out of southern Africa before they could return via the UK or the US, depending on the visas they had and the availability of flights.”
He added: “But it’s a great relief for us and I’m sure for them and their friends and family that they are now safely back in the Caribbean and can make a little break as we look to next year.”
“And now that we have qualified for the New Zealand World Cup in February/March, we can begin our plans to prepare the team for an exciting World Cup,” noted the Cricket West Indies executive.