Windies' Holder, Pollard opt out of Bangladesh tour on COVID concerns

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West Indies v South Africa - ICC Champions Trophy 2013 Group B

(Reuters) - Cricket West Indies (CWI) said test captain Jason Holder and limited-overs skipper Kieron Pollard are among 10 players who have chosen not to travel to Bangladesh for their upcoming tour due to concerns about the novel coronavirus.

West Indies are due to play three one-day internationals and two tests in Chattogram and Dhaka starting from Jan. 20.

Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran are the other players who opted out of the series.

Fabian Allen and Shane Dowrich are also unavailable due to personal reasons.

This will be West Indies' third tour since the resumption of international cricket after the COVID-19 hiatus, following their trips to England and New Zealand.

Bravo, Hetmyer and Keemo Paul had opted out of the tour to England due to concerns about COVID-19.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Kraigg Brathwaite will captain the test team in Holder's absence, while Jason Mohammed will lead the limited overs side.

Top-order batsman Kavem Hodge has received his maiden call-up to the test squad, while all-rounder Akeal Hosein and left-handed batsman Kjorn Ottley earned their first ODI call-ups.

"Although a number of the senior players are missing in both formats, I expect our teams to be very competitive," CWI Lead Selector Roger Harper said.

"I expect our players to play with purpose, with passion and with the desire to prove that they belong at this level."

West Indies are scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on Jan. 10. The ODI series is to be played from Jan. 20 followed by the test series from Feb. 3.

Bangladesh has reported over 511,000 infections and more than 7,500 deaths from the novel coronavirus.

Test squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, John Campbell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Kavem Hodge, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Shayne Moseley, Veerasammy Permaul, Kemar Roach, Raymon Reifer, Jomel Warrican.

ODI squad: Jason Mohammed (c), Sunil Ambris, Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Andre McCarthy, Kjorn Ottley, Rovman Powell, Raymon Reifer, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh jr.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)