By Neto Baptiste
Chief Executive Officer of Cricket West Indies (CWI), Johnny Grave, said the body is still awaiting Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage of alleged breaches of COVID-19 protocols by some players within the team’s Managed Isolation Facility in Christchurch, New Zealand in November.
Grave revealed — during an interview on Observer Radio’s Good Morning Jojo Sports Show — that an independent investigation had been carried out by team management on the ground in New Zealand following the incident on November 10 but that CWI is yet to have sight of the footage.
“We have actually requested footage of the CCTV footage from within the managed isolation facility within Christchurch where the players were in, but we haven’t received that yet from the New Zealand authorities. Raul Lewis, the team manager has conducted — along with the disciplinary panel on tour — interviews with the five players involved in various incidents over a two-day period and I am expecting his initial report,” he said.
The breach resulted in the team members being unable to train for their final days of isolation prior to their continued preparations for the T20 series that began on November 27.
Grave said it is imperative that players adhere to all protocols at all times and that once investigations are competed, it is expected that some measure of disciplinary steps will be taken.
“It’s absolutely critical as proven by disruptions to events and series as we speak in terms of Pakistan not being able to prepare for their series against New Zealand so it is really important for the players, when they are in these environments to act responsibly and adhere to all the protocols. That said, none of the players left the managed isolation facility, they [breaches] all took place within it but nonetheless, the players knew the rules and we promised and we had signed up to adhere to them with the New Zealand government so we are taking them very seriously and I expect disciplinary action to follow,” he said.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Health said CCTV footage from the team’s Christchurch hotel showed players mingling in hallways and sharing food in violation of managed isolation regulations. The ministry said all incidents occurred within the hotel and there was no danger to the public.