WELLINGTON (Reuters) - The West Indies cricket team eagerly shook off a long flight, jet lag, three days of isolation and having to undergo COVID-19 tests as they had their first day of training on Tuesday ahead of their tour of New Zealand.
The majority of the team and management arrived in New Zealand last Friday after a 54-hour flight from Barbados and have been in a biosecure facility in Christchurch.
They had to spend the first three days in isolation and then return a negative COVID-test before they could begin training at New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) high-performance centre.
“After flying for so long, the jet lag and then three days of isolation, it’s tough,” pace bowler Kesrick Williams said after their first day of training.
“We could feel the effects of the three days and the jet lag ... but we know that we have to get accustomed and get ready to go.”
While the world Twenty20 champions were eager to stretch their legs, a cold wind lowered the temperature dramatically in Christchurch and many of the team were forced to don warm clothing and beanies.
“The first thing I learned is that the weather is messed up,” Williams said of his memories of touring New Zealand.
“(But) it’s an awesome feeling to wear the maroon. The passion, the pride that comes with it.”
Six members of the Twenty20 squad are still playing in the Indian Premier League in the United Arab Emirates and are not expected to arrive in New Zealand until late next week.
Coach Phil Simmons has said it was likely they would be in isolation until the morning of the first Twenty20 international in Auckland on Nov. 27.
NZC said earlier on Tuesday the West Indies squad would undergo two further COVID-19 tests on day six and day 12 before they can be released from their mandatory 14-day isolation.
They play three Twenty20 matches against New Zealand before a two-test series starts on Dec. 3 in Hamilton.
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Christopher Cushing
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