The West Indies have suffered another major blow on their tour to Bangladesh after leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr tested positive for Covid-19.
This is the third tour the West Indies are on during the Covid-19 pandemic and it is the first instance of a player testing positive for the virus while on tour.
The Leewards Islands player is the second Caribbean cricketer to test positive for the virus since the One-Day and Test teams were selected. Romario Shepherd returned a positive test before the squads departed for Bangladesh last week and had to be replaced by Keon Harding.
In addition to the positive Covid-19 players, the Windies are also without 12 of their first-choice players for the two series.
Ten senior players declined to tour due to Covid-19 related concerns or personal fears while two opted out for personal reasons.
Among those declining to tour due to Covid concerns or personal fears were Test captain Jason Holder, ODI skipper, Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran.
Fabian Allen and Shane Dowrich were unavailable due to personal reasons.
In a Cricket West Indies media statement late yesterday, the regional board confirmed Walsh’s test result and noted that he will now miss the three-match ODI series which bowls off next Wednesday.
“Following PCR tests administered on Wednesday, January 13, Cricket West Indies (CWI) can confirm that Hayden Walsh Jr has tested positive for Covid-19 and will now undergo a period of self-isolation,” CWI said in a statement.
“The Leeward Islands and West Indies leg-spinner, who is asymptomatic, first returned a negative test result on arrival into Bangladesh on the weekend, and then had a positive return on his test in Dhaka yesterday. This result was verified by a second positive test today,” the media release stated.
According to CWI, the West Indies touring squad was in individual isolation since arriving in Bangladesh on Sunday.
“In accordance with the established medical protocols, Walsh remained isolated from the West Indies squad and is now under the care and supervision of the team physician, Dr Praimanand Singh,” CWI said.
The player will now remain in isolation until he returns two negative PCR test results and will be unavailable to play in the ODI series.
“All other members of the West Indies touring squad returned second negative Covid-19 tests, after undergoing four tests within the last 11 days,” CWI confirmed.
Before the tour was confirmed, a CWI inspection team, which included Akshai Mansingh and security manager Paul Stowe visited Bangladesh with Mansingh saying he was “happy” with what we saw in Dhaka and Chattogram.
“The facilities are excellent. The Covid-19 protocols are concise and tight,” Dr Mansingh had said.
With Walsh Jr’s unavailability, the ODI squad is now down to 14 players. The first match of the series takes place next Wednesday.