West Indies, Ireland agree to postpone second ODI

Ireland return three further Covid-19 positives in addition to injuries suffered by McBrine and Adair

Nagraj Gollapudi
Andy Balbirnie in the nets, Ireland training, Ireland tour of United States and West Indies, December 20, 2021

Andy Balbirnie is among the latest group of Ireland players to test positive for Covid-19  •  Peter Della Penna

A combination of three fresh Covid-19 positive cases along with two injured players has left the Ireland squad "severely depleted", thereby forcing the postponement of the second ODI against West Indies, scheduled for Tuesday. In a joint media statement both Cricket West indies and Cricket Ireland said "all possibilities" would be explored to complete the remainder of series, which comprises three ODIs and a solitary T20.
ESPNcricinfo has learned that Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie and wicketkeeper-batter Lorcan Tucker, along with interim head coach David Ripley returned positive tests over the weekend. The trio join the pair of Simi Singh and Ben White who had been ruled out of the first ODI, held on Saturday, having tested positive previously. Both Balbirne and Tucker played in that match, which West Indies won by 24 runs. ESPNcricinfo understands the entire West Indies camp tested negative until Monday.
With the series being played in Jamaica, the teams are following the medical guidelines set by the Jamaican government, which recommends regular RT-PCR tests until negative.
The situation for Ireland has been worsened by injuries to the pair of Andy McBrine and fast bowler Mark Adair. The Ireland team management has decided to allow further rest to McBrine, who suffered "minor symptoms" of concussion after being hit while batting in the first ODI. Adair is understood to have picked up a foot injury, which is being monitored.
A final decision on the remained of Ireland's Caribbean tour is likely to be taken in the next two days. "CWI and CI are in discussions to review the match schedule and are working to explore all possibilities for the series to be completed," the joint media release said.
In somewhat positive news for the visitors, allrounders Paul Stirling and Shane Getkate have joined the squad finally, having earlier tested positive immediately after Ireland's ODI series against USA was cancelled due to a Covid-19 outbreak within the managed environment. During the USA tour, while all the Ireland players were clear it was members of the support staff and partners or family membrs of the Irish players that tested positive for the virus. Consequently, the Ireland players were deemed as close contacts and the three ODIs were called off.

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo