Barbados and West Indies batsman Shai Hope, and his older brother, Kyle Hope, who has also worn the West Indies maroon, have both been ruled out of next month’s Super50 Cup in Antigua after testing positive for COVID-19.
The Barbados Cricket Association announced the positive tests today, after the Barbados Pride touring party underwent testing last weekend in preparation for travel.
“Following the results of the first completed COVD-19 tests, Kyle and Shai Hope returned positive results and will be placed in isolation in accordance with Government of Barbados protocols,” a BCA release said.
Batsman Zachary McCaskie and wicketkeeper-batsman Tevyn Walcott will replace the Hope brothers in the Barbados Pride 15-man squad, and will now undergo the required COVID-19 testing.
Pride are scheduled to depart the island on Sunday for the February 7-27 regional domestic 50-over championship.
The latest development will be a massive blow to the Pride squad as the Hope brothers were two of nine players with West Indies experience set to play in the tournament.
Shai, 27, is one of the world’s leading one-day batsmen, boasting an average of 52 in internationals and nearly 50 in List A.
Ironically, he was one of 10 West Indies players who declined selection for the ongoing tour of Bangladesh due to “COVID related concerns or personal fears”, over the health situation in the south Asian country.
He was in excellent form with two hundreds during the Legends Cup last month, a tournament which served as trials in order to select the final squad.
Kyle, meanwhile, has played five Tests and seven One-Day Internationals for West Indies, and was making a return to the Pride squad after spending several seasons with Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.
The pair were part of a strong batting lineup that included Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase and captain Jason Holder – all of whom also opted out of the Bangladesh tour.
Barbados is not the only country whose team has been hit by the virus. It was announced today that batsman Trevon Griffith has been replaced in the Guyana Jaguars 15-man squad for the Regional Super50 Cup by Kemol Savory after returning a positive COVID-19 test.
The 29-year-old, who last featured for Jaguars in the first class championship two years ago, was tested along with the Jaguars touring party last Saturday and required to isolate prior to their second test on Wednesday.
Griffith was the only member of the Jaguars to test positive and will now enter isolation, missing out on tournament. Jaguars are scheduled to leave Guyana on January 30.
Griffith is the second Guyanese cricketer to test positive for COVID following fast bowling all-rounder Romario Shepherd nearly three weeks ago.
At the time, Shepherd was preparing to travel with the West Indies one-day side to Bangladesh and had to forego the tour. He has since recovered, however, and is a member of the 15-man Jaguars squad for the upcoming competition.
Griffith, an attacking left-hander who has also in the past represented Jamaica, averages 22 from 34 List A matches.
Savory, meanwhile, played all of his five List A matches for Jaguars in the last Super50 Cup staged in Trinidad back in 2019.
The 24-year-old left-hander struck a career-best unbeaten 71 on debut against eventual champions West Indies Emerging Players.
Regular captain Leon Johnson will lead Jaguars in Antigua and oversees a side which includes the likes of West Indies batting star Shimron Hetmyer and former West Indies batsman Assad Fudadin.
The 24-year-old Hetmyer was available for selection after opting out of the ongoing Test and one-day tour of Bangladesh.
Jaguars, without a regional one-day title for 16 years, will open their campaign on February 8 against Barbados Pride. (CMC)