The Pakistan-West Indies one-day international cricket series due to start this weekend was postponed on Thursday after a growing coronavirus outbreak in the visiting squad.

Positive tests by three players and two staff on Thursday increased the number of virus cases to nine in the West Indies tour party.

Officials from both boards agreed to postpone the three-ODI series to next June. The series was due to begin at Karachi on Saturday.

Rescheduling the ODIs, which were part of the World Cup Super League, “will provide the West Indies with an equal opportunity to field their best available players for the World Cup qualification matches,” the boards said in a statement.

Pakistan and West Indies officials decided to go ahead with the third and final Twenty20 in Karachi on Thursday after the remaining 15 players and six support personnel in the West Indies squad returned negative tests.

All who tested negative were to leave Pakistan late Thursday.

T20 player and ODI skipper Shai Hope, left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein and allrounder Justin Greaves, along with assistant coach Roddy Estwick and team physician Akshai Mansingh were the latest positives.

Last weekend, Sheldon Cottrell, Roston Chase, Kyle Mayers and a support staffer tested positive in Karachi and had to miss this week’s T20 series.

“Those who have tested positive will complete their isolation in Karachi before their travel arrangements are finalized to allow them to rejoin their families in time for Christmas celebrations,” the boards said.

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