The “stressful” Caribbean tour but Ireland engaged in the series

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Ireland manager Chris Siddle described the setbacks of COVID-19 in the camp as “stressful”, but said the tourists were fully committed to completing the One-Day International series against the West Indies.

Two players tested positive upon arriving here last week and were ruled out of the series while two other players – including captain Andy Balbirnie – as well as head coach David Ripley, returned positive tests after the game opening night last Saturday at Sabina Park.

The development, coupled with some injuries in the Irish camp, has left the squad depleted and forced the postponement of the second match from Tuesday to today, and the cancellation of the one-time international Twenty20 match scheduled for Sunday.

“It’s a very stressful time for guys because once you have a case everyone is waiting for the test results,” Siddle explained.

“You’re isolated in your room, you’re constantly worried: am I next? What is happening? Is this going to be the game? Will it be game off?

“That becomes the main focus of what you do there and all you think about is not so much cricket but you worry about what’s going to happen in terms of COVID and testing and what which may result.”

The disruption for Ireland began during last month’s white ball tour of the United States, where they managed to complete the three-game Twenty20 International series in Fort Lauderdale, but were then forced to abandon the phase Next ODI due to multiple positive cases.

And just before the team left for the Caribbean, two more players tested positive, including versatile batsman Paul Stirling.

Thursday’s ODI will be with Ireland still struggling with a battered squad, but Siddle said there was a desire from everyone involved to move forward with the remaining fixtures .

“I know Ireland and the West Indies team really want to play the games and that was the main reason for delaying the games and removing the T20 at the end,” said Siddle, who returned to Ireland after staying on. with lone players in Florida.

“And that was to make sure we got all the cricket, and that means the first two guys who tested positive for us should be back for the last game, and Andy McBrine who had a blow to the head and a concussion cerebral should be back and available, so we should have a full squad to choose from.

“If you have 13 players available we would be really keen to play a game and I think both teams and most teams in the world would have that attitude. It got to a point after that first ODI where we weren’t more than ten guys and we just couldn’t play.

Siddle, whose wife also tested positive on the US tour after families were allowed to travel with the contingent, said the threat of COVID still remained as cricket continued amid the pandemic.

“We’ve done so many tours. This is our ninth tour where we’ve been in bubbles with COVID…so we understand the stress,” he pointed out.

“I think it hit [us] that the Omicron has been much more contagious in the sense that on previous tours we had a case and it showed up pretty early through routine testing and we were able to contain it.

“While in the US we’ve done our routine testing and we’ve had six people test positive on the same day from the same routine test with no symptoms and that kind of stuff really blinds you when that happens. “

Ireland will face West Indies in the ODI final on Sunday.

Comments are closed.