Wellington: The West Indies cricket squad repeatedly broke isolation rules inside their team hotel, New Zealand health officials said Wednesday, adding that the tourists’ training privileges had been revoked as punishment.
The cricketers are undergoing a mandatory 14-days quarantine in Christchurch before starting their tour later this month featuring three Twenty20 matches and two Tests.
The players were given special permission to train together during the isolation period, subject to strict bio-secure protocols, but the New Zealand Health Department said the commitment had not been honoured.
“Members of the team were confirmed to have repeatedly broken managed isolation rules,” director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said in a statement.
“Many of these incidents have been captured on CCTV and have also been reported by staff. The incidents include groups mingling and sharing food.”
Bloomfield said the breaches all occurred within the hotel where the team is based during the quarantine period and there was no risk to the general public.
However, he said training privileges had been revoked, adding: “It is a privilege to come here but in return they have to stick to the rules. Keeping COVID-19 out of our communities and keeping our staff safe depends on it.”
The health department said it would provide evidence to Cricket West Indies and leave the governing body to determine if any disciplinary action was needed against individual players.
New Zealand Cricket said it supported the health department’s position and public safety remained its top priority when hosting overseas teams.
It said the West Indies were in their 12th day of isolation and, if all players were virus-free, they would depart Friday for Queenstown, where they have warm-up matches against New Zealand A.
The first Twenty20 international against the Black Caps is scheduled for 27 November at Eden Park.