West Indies batting star, Shai Hope, and his older brother, Kyle Hope, have both been ruled out of next month’s Super50 Cup in Antigua after testing positive for COVID-19.
The Barbados Cricket Association announced the positive tests on Tuesday, after the Barbados Pride touring party underwent testing last weekend in preparation for travel.
“Following the results of the first completed COVD-19 tests, Kyle and Shai Hope returned positive results and will be placed in isolation in accordance with Government of Barbados protocols,” a BCA release said.
Batsman Zachary McCaskie and wicketkeeper-batsman Tevyn Walcott will replace the Hope brothers in the Barbados Pride 15-man squad, and will now undergo the required COVID-19 testing.
Barbados Pride are scheduled to depart the island on Sunday for the February 7-27 regional domestic 50-over championship.
The latest development will be a massive blow to the Pride squad as the Hope brothers were two of nine players with West Indies experience set to play in the tournament.
Shai, 27, is one of the leading world’s leading one-day batsmen, boasting an average of 52 in internationals and nearly 50 in List A.
Ironically, he was one of 10 West Indies players who declined selection for the ongoing tour of Bangladesh due to “COVID related concerns or personal fears”, over the health situation in the south Asian country.
He was in excellent form with two hundreds during the Legends Cup last month, a tournament that served as trials in order to select the final squad.
Kyle, meanwhile, has played five Tests and seven One-Day Internationals for West Indies and was making a return to the Pride squad after spending several seasons with Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.
The pair were part of a strong batting lineup that included Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase and captain Jason Holder – all of whom also opted out of the Bangladesh tour.