Steelbacks' Friday night T20 Blast opponents Derbyshire abandon Championship clash due to Covid-19

The Steelbacks' Friday night Vitality T20 Blast opponents Derbyshire have been hit by a Covid-19 issue, causing the abandonment of their Championship clash with Essex.

By Jeremy Casey
Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 9:42 am
Action from Derbyshire Falcons' T20 win over the Steelbacks in Derby last month
Action from Derbyshire Falcons' T20 win over the Steelbacks in Derby last month

The four-day encounter was called off ahead of day two on Monday, after an unnamed Derbyshire player tested positive for Covid-19 having taken a lateral flow test on Sunday night.

And Northants will now be waiting for news of what will happen with Friday night's scheduled meeting at the County Ground, with a Derbyshire statement reading the club 'will communicate further detail regarding upcoming fixtures pending additional guidance'.

Derbyshire were also forced to cancel a proposed second team 50-over friendly against Nottinghamshire on Tuesday.

A Derbyshire statement read: "Following a lateral flow test on Sunday evening, conducted as part of the club’s regular programme of self-testing, Derbyshire can confirm that one unnamed member of the playing staff has tested positive for COVID-19.

"The player has immediately begun self-isolating while awaiting the result of a PCR test.

"As the playing squad involved in the LV= County Championship fixture against Essex at The Incora County Ground, as well as the Vitality Blast squad which travelled to Durham on Friday, could likely be considered close contacts, they too will immediately self-isolate pending the PCR test result.

"Due to the isolation protocols and impact on the available playing squad, the decision has been made in conjunction with Public Health England (PHE) and the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to abandon the fixture, with the awarding of points to be confirmed in due course.

"The club remains in close contact with PHE and the ECB and will communicate further detail regarding upcoming fixtures pending additional guidance."

Derbyshire chief executive Ryan Duckett said: “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.”

Derbyshire are due to play the Steelbacks in the T20 Blast at Wantage Road on Friday night.

The match is the last home game of the campaign for Northants, whose chances of qualifying for the knockout stages are hanging by the thinnest of threads.

Derbyshire are one place above the Steelbacks and also have nine points, and they too are realistically out of the frame for a top four finish.