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

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 have not imposed any restrictions on the participants in the mega event.
TOI has learnt that there won’t be any mandatory testing either. This is the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic started that a tournament will be played with no Covid-driven restriction. Ironically, it’s happening in the same country where tennis superstar Novak Djokovic was denied from playing in the Australian Open earlier in the year because he wasn’t vaccinated.
“If a player tests positive for Covid-19 but feels well enough to play then he can play in a match. It will be done in consultation with the medical team. The infected players will need to follow protocols from the bio security advisory group like wearing masks and maintain distance from his teammates,” a source told TOI on Sunday.
There has been a precedent of an infected player taking the field. Australia’s women’s team’s allrounder Tahila McGrath played in the Commonwealth Games final against India in Birmingham in August this year.
Australia has been 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 has allowed ICC to be more flexible while 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 may come back into the squad when he tests negative.
This development comes as a huge relief for players. Cricket has been played in tight bio-bubbles since 2020. While the bubbles have been lifted from this year, there have been frequent RTPCR tests on players. This will help the team management to solely focus 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 recording the least number of Covid-19 infections in the world at the time. However, the Indian team travelled to the country for a full tour around the same time the World Cup was initially planned.
This World Cup could signal how sport has learnt to live with the virus. And perhaps, this is the new normal.

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