T20 World Cup: No restrictions or mandatory tests as Covid-positive players can take the field | Cricket News


NEW DELHI: The T20 World Cup in Australia has a provision for players infected with Covid-19 to still take the field during the tournament. The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Australian Government did not impose any restrictions on the participants of the mega event.
TOI has learned that there will be no mandatory tests either. This is the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began that a tournament will be played without Covid-driven restrictions. Ironically, this is happening in the same country where tennis superstar Novak Djokovic was refused to play in the Australian Open earlier this year because he was not vaccinated.
“If a player tests positive for Covid-19 but feels well enough to play, he can play in a match. This will be done in consultation with the medical team. The infected players will have to follow biosecurity advisory group protocols like wearing masks and keeping distance from his teammates,” a source told TOI on Sunday.
There was a precedent of an infected player taking the field. Australia’s women’s team all-rounder Tahila McGrath played in the Commonwealth Games final against India in Birmingham in August this year.
Australia was one of the strictest countries while imposing restrictions during the pandemic. The Australian government’s mandatory isolation requirements for Covid-19 infected people ended last week. This allowed the ICC to be more flexible when dealing with Covid-19 for the marquee event.
This development also makes it easier for teams while announcing replacements for infected players. If a player returns positive in the RT-PCR test, he will be replaced. However, the infected player can come back into the group when he tests negative.
This development comes as a huge relief to players. Cricket has been played in tight bio-bubbles since 2020. While the bubbles were lifted from this year, there were regular RTPCR tests on players. This will help the team management to focus only on the tournament rather than worrying about Covid-19 disrupting its plans.
The T20 World Cup in Australia was supposed to happen in 2020. But the event was moved to 2022, even though Australia was one of the countries with the lowest number of Covid-19 infections in the world at the time. However, the Indian team traveled to the country for a full tour around the same time the World Cup was initially planned.
This World Cup may indicate how sport has learned to live with the virus. And maybe this is the new normal.


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