Bob Willis Trophy match called off after a player tests positive for coronavirus

Bob Willis Trophy match called off after a player tests positive for coronavirus

Gloucestershire had already reached 66/6 at lunch but the players didn't brace the field after the break.

County Ground – Bristol
County Ground – Bristol. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

The sporting scenario may have resumed amid COVID-19 pandemic but a player still has the risk of infecting the virus. One such incident was witnessed in Northamptonshire’s Bob Willis Trophy match at Bristol.

One of the players in their squad tested positive for Covid-19 and their match against Gloucestershire was called off. Gloucestershire had already reached 66/6 at lunch but the players didn’t brace the field after the break and the play was cut short due to the incident.

Northamptonshire have competed with largely different squads in the T20 Blast and Bob Willis Trophy this season. Only two players of their players from recent T20 Blast fixture were a part of this encounter.

“Although the player was not part of the group that travelled with the squad to Bristol (and has been self-isolating at home), further members of the Northamptonshire squad have been in contact with the player within 48 hours of the player developing Covid-19 symptoms,” the clubs said in a joint statement.

County players haven’t been forced to stay in a bio-secure bubble

“Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire and the ECB are unified in the belief that player welfare is paramount and that no risks should be taken with the health and safety of the players, officials and administrators involved in this match. “The match has now been abandoned and the Northamptonshire squad will return home to Northamptonshire today,” it further read.

Unlike international cricket, County players haven’t been forced to stay in a bio-secure bubble. They’ve instead been asked to follow a set of protocols to curb the risk of COVID-19 transmission. They’ve also been asked to travel to games alone, have regular temperature checks and fill up health questionnaires. Neither Gloucestershire nor Northamptonshire were in contention to qualify the Bob Willis Trophy final as group winners.

This wasn’t the first incident of such kind in County cricket amid the pandemic. Two players had also missed matches due to enforced self-isolation this summer. Nick Gubbins missed Middlesex’s game against Kent as a precautionary measure after coming into contact with someone who had contracted the virus. Similarly, Jordan Cox missed the same fixture after he broke the social distancing protocols to click photos with young fans after scoring a double ton against Sussex.