West Indies breach quarantine in NZ

Ben McKay
·2-min read

The touring West Indies cricket squad has been banned from training and confined to their hotel rooms after committing multiple breaches of New Zealand's quarantine rules.

New Zealand health authorities used CCTV to capture COVID rule-breaking from the Caribbeans, including sharing meals and mingling in groups.

"It's a huge blow to our preparation, " Cricket West Indies chief executive Johnny Grave said, saying they fully supported the action.

As they prepare for an upcoming series with the Black Caps, the West Indies were afforded a similar modified quarantine arrangement as the Wallabies in getting ready for the Bledisloe Cup last month.

All players and support staff passed two COVID tests, allowing them to train at Lincoln University together, near the Christchurch hotel they've called home for the past 12 days.

But those freedoms have been reined in by Kiwi health authorities who are following the letter of the law while trying to maintain NZ's COVID-free status.

"It is a privilege to come here but in return they have to stick to the rules, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said.

"Keeping COVID-19 out of our communities and keeping our staff safe depends on it. They didn't do that, despite agreeing to abide by the parameters of the exemption."

Grave said Cricket West Indies would launch their own investigation after the "compromising of bubble integrity".

"We've written to our players to emphasise the importance of following the protocols," he said.

"My disappointment is our players are the maybe the most experienced in the world at dealing with these strict quarantine measures," he added, referring to their recent tour of England conducted in similar circumstances.

The good news for the West Indies is they won't be confined for long.

Friday marks the end of their 14-day mandatory isolation regime, meaning they will be tested today and released before the weekend if no issues arise.

They will head to Queenstown for two warm-up matches with New Zealand A before a T20 and Test series, beginning on November 27.