. World news – AU – NZ versus WI, 1. T20: The teams welcome the spectators back, but the influence of Covid was palpable


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File image: The fixture list for the West Indies Tour is more congested than typical series, with the three Twenty20s to be played over four days before the first test begins on Dec.. . 3 in Hamilton. – AP

A sense of normalcy will return to cricket on Friday as New Zealand take on West Indies in the Twenty20 series opener with no crowd-pullers in Auckland. However, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to cast a long shadow on the tour.

The global health crisis has broken the structure of the three Twenty20 two-test series for both sides. Some players weren’t released from isolation until Thursday after returning from the newly arranged Indian Premier League.

Also on Thursday, six members of the Touring Pakistan team tested positive for Covid-19 while in isolation in Christchurch, highlighting the precarious nature of sports touring during the pandemic.

The list of games for the West Indies tour is more congested than typical series. The three Twenty20s must be played four days before the first test begins in December. 3 in Hamilton.

« Three internationals in four days are different, » New Zealand coach Gary Stead told reporters this week.

« In terms of choices, it’s about as complex as I think I’ve ever seen, and hopefully will ever see, so there are lots of moving parts. ”

Stead has rested captains Kane Williamson and Trent Boult for the Twenty20 games. The couple wasn’t released from 14 days of isolation until Thursday after returning from the IPL.

A few others, including Twenty20’s substitute captain Tim Southee, won’t play the third game to join the testing team, while Stead also had to claim an injury replacement.

Mitchell Santner and Daryl Mitchell were added to the test squad to succeed Ajaz Patel and Colin de Grandhomme.

West Indian trainer Phil Simmons also had to juggle his resources and choose not to choose Test Captain Jason Holder for the Twenty20 series while splitting his roster due to the late arrival of players from the IPL.

West Indian players who are not needed for the Twenty20 series will take part in a four-day game against the New Zealand A, which began Thursday.

Simmons said he had little concern about the IPL group having had a tough tournament and was pleased the rest of the team had a warm-up game in Queenstown.

« It was about making sure this group was as keen on the IPL group as it would come from a tournament, » added Simmons.

« We pushed the days a little harder than usual to make sure everyone is as hot as they can be for Friday. ”

New Zealand national cricket team, West Indies cricket team, test cricket, Colin de Grandhomme, Kieron Pollard, Twenty20 International

World news – AU – NZ vs WI, 1. T20: Teams welcome crowds back, but Covid effects felt strongly
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Ref: https://sportstar.thehindu.com


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