The LV= Insurance County Championship fixture between Derbyshire and Essex at Derby had to be postponed ahead of the second day’s play. The reason for the game’s calling off is that an unnamed player of the Derbyshire squad has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the rest of the members went into isolation as they have been identified as close contacts.
The quarantine protocols and the impact on Derbyshire’s remaining members of the squad meant that umpires abandoned the match. The England Cricket Board (ECB) released a statement saying that they worked closely with the health experts to keep the players and staff’s health as the priority. Furthermore, the decision regarding awarding the points would be taken in due course.
“The ECB has worked closely with Public Heath England and both Derbyshire and Essex County Cricket Clubs with the health and safety of players, staff and officials the first priority. Confirmation on the awarding of points from the match will be announced in due course,” the ECB released a statement.
Derbyshire’s chief executive Ryan Duckett underlined they have imposed strict testing regimes for the players and have safety regulations for the supporters as well. Duckett thanked the club’s medical staff, and the ECB for their immediate action. He further claimed that while it is disappointing for the fixture to see it suffer abandonment, Duckett underlined that safety of the players and supporters comes first.
“As a club, we have operated a robust testing regime among all staff throughout the return to cricket and have clear safety regulations in place for supporters. This isolated incident highlights the fact that sport is not exempt from the pandemic, and I’d like to thank the club’s medical and venue staff, as well as Public Health Derby and the ECB for their immediate response in safely handling the matter. It is of course a great disappointment to see the abandonment of a fixture, but the safety of all players, staff and supporters must always come first and the club is grateful for the understanding of supporters,” Duckett said as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo.
Derbyshire bowled out for 146 as Shane Snater takes three wickets:
Meanwhile, Derbyshire was anyway lagging in the game as Essex bundled them out for 146. Leus de Plooy top-scored with 43 and Shane Snater picked up three scalps. In response, Essex reached 86-3 at the end of the first day. Former England captain and opener Alastair Cook scored 30 while opening the batting. Nick Browne, opening with Cook, stayed unbeaten alongside Kiwi all-rounder James Neesham.