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West Indies Preparations Hit by New Zealand Isolation Rules
The West Indies continue their run of being a team prepared to travel the world and play cricket despite the current pandemic that is happening. Their next stop off is in New Zealand, though preparations for the games there is not going to be easy due to how they are scheduled and the isolation rules that they have to follow when they get into the country.
The tour begins with three T20 Internationals and then moves onto the test game where two matches will be played. Three key T20 players who will play in those first three games are all currently playing in the IPL, which is where the problems begin for the West Indies.
Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard and Shimron Hetmyer are all currently playing in the IPL and part of the T20 setup for their country. Those three cannot travel until the end of the IPL, which means their isolation period ends on the morning of November 27, which is the date of the first game in New Zealand.
This will mean no practice with the team, no meetings other than remotely on video calls and no time to integrate themselves back in the international squad.
Test captain Jason Holder is another in the IPL, but he is not in the T20 setup for the West Indies, so doesn't have to play until December 3 when the test series begins. This is still far from ideal, as the captain has just a week with his players before they play, and most of that time will be focused on the T20 games, so it is a double blow for him.
This really puts the West Indies on the back foot in terms of preparations for both the T20 series and the two test matches and for that reason, it is expected that many new bet sites will have New Zealand as strong favourites.
If there is one positive for the West Indies from this, it is that their players who are coming over from the IPL in the UAE should all be at the top of their game. They have been playing cricket, which is an advantage over many others, so will come here match fit and of course the IPL is the biggest and best T20 league in the world, so their play has been at a high level.
They have been playing for around two months, and after travelling they will get two weeks to rest and get ready for the T20 games in New Zealand, which should be the perfect time for them. This is a nice, long break, but shouldn't be too long so they lose their match fitness and the edge they have.
The West Indies once again should be applauded for being a team that is happy to travel and get playing some cricket by heading to New Zealand. The scheduling makes this a very tough series for them, with players isolating until the morning of the first game, and it is going to be fascinating to see how they get on because of that.