The West Indies cricket team arrived in Dhaka on January 10 to play the hosts in a three-match ODI and two-match Test series. 12 of their regular squad members have made themselves unavailable for the tour citing Covid-19 concerns. But their head coach Phil Simmons doesn't want to criticise their decision.
The visitors are now passing a strict three-day in-room quarantine. On the second day, all of them underwent Covid-19 screening and their results came out negative.
"I can't say it was a wrong call for them. Everybody has their reasons and opinions. They made their choices. They took the best decision for them. I can't decide what's best for anyone else but Phil Simmons," he said.
"I think that all our players have been given the option from the first series. Some chose it in the first series, some in the last series and some chose it in this series. I think that people have different reasons for doing things. I cannot judge anyone for not going on a tour," Simmons added.
Simmons mentioned that Jason Mohammed, the skipper will be a vital cog in the wheel and the team will be selected on the basis of performances in practice sessions. He stated, "I think 9 out of 10 it will be on what we see as we go along. I think originally you will have somebody like the captain in the middle or late middle order and we will work out how we balance the team around him. So it just depends on how we get going in practice, and we see what happens in practice. How people play up to the conditions. What the conditions are like, because we will practice on a side ground near where we will be playing. We see how we start and make moves from there."
He believes that this is a great chance for the newbies to prove a point and earn a place in the team: "It is the start. It is the tournament to qualify for the World Cup, so it's a start. My rule and message to all the players here is that you are not here to fill in. You are here to give yourself a chance. You have a chance now to seal your place in the team. If you do well here, it augers well for you moving forward. You come here and do well in the three ODIs and two Tests, you are putting yourself in a place from where nobody can move you. Only you have the opportunity."
Simmons said that Bangladesh are the clear favorites of this series. He also expressed his satisfaction about the Covid-19 protocols in Bangladesh, saying that the protocols here are the same as the other two countries they toured earlier.