West Indies vice-captain Sunil Ambris said that the revelation of a positive Covid-19 test within the camp came as a shock and while it is an unfortunate situation, he insisted that the team is thinking ahead and is focused on the upcoming three-match ODI series against hosts Bangladesh, starting Wednesday.
On Thursday, Cricket West Indies (CWI) revealed that leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr returned two positive tests for the virus and will miss the ODI series as a result.
He became the first West Indies cricketer to test positive for the virus while on international duty and the tour to Bangladesh is the third for the Windies during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“When I heard about it, to be honest, I was scared,” Ambris told the media during a virtual press conference following the team’s training session in Bangladesh, yesterday. “It is a very sad situation,” he said of the positive test for Walsh.
Yesterday’s session was the team’s second following three days of isolation upon arriving in Bangladesh last weekend. Walsh is now in isolation and will miss the ODI series, however, no replacement has been called up. Romario Shepherd also tested positive before leaving the Caribbean last week and was replaced in the squad by fellow fast-bowler Keon Harding.
Ambris, who is serving as vice-captain to Jason Mohammed, said the team will just have to keep a positive attitude ahead of the ODI series and take extra precautions to remain safe. “But personally that’s out of my mind now. I just want to think ahead, try and stay safe and be positive,” the West Indies vice-captain added.
As for his role as vice-captain, Ambris is embracing it. “Very excited (about taking up the vice captaincy). It is not something I saw coming but I am very excited...(I just have to) stay positive and try and help and encourage the less experienced guys and as I said before just play positive cricket,” said Ambris.
“A lot of the guys are new to international cricket but (I tell them) try not to think about it. It is the same cricket, just play hard and smart cricket and I think we’ll be okay,” he added. Ambris is also confident of doing well against Bangladesh and is aiming to score big.
“I am looking to score. I would love to get at least one hundred out of these three games. I think that’d do me a lot of good, I think this is actually the first tour that I am confident that I am starting. I’d like to use this tour to cement myself in the playing XI for the other tours,” the 27-year-old right-handed batsman added.
WI ODI SQUAD: Jason Mohammed (captain), Sunil Ambris (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Andre McCarthy, Kjorn Ottley, Rovman Powell, Raymon Reifer, Keon Harding.
WI TEST SQUAD: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, John Campbell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Kavem Hodge, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Shayne Moseley, Veerasammy Permaul, Kemar Roach, Raymon Reifer, Jomel Warrican.
West Indies Full Tour Schedule:
January 18: One-day warm-up match, BKSP, Savar
January 20 1st ODI, SBNCS, Dhaka
January 22: 2nd ODI, SBNCS, Dhaka
January 25: 3rd ODI, ZACS, Chattogram
January 28-31: Four-day warm-up, M.A. Aziz Stadium, Chattogram
February 3-7: 1st Test Match, ZACS, Chattogram
February 11-15: 2nd Test Match, SBNCS, Dhaka