December 19, 2021 8:57:15 am
Cricket Australia Chief Executive Nick Hockley has called on fans to respect social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols in the wake of the incident that ruled Australia captain Pat Cummins out of the second Ashes Test.
Cummins was withdrawn from the squad on the eve of the match with England after being deemed a close contact of a customer in a restaurant in Adelaide who returned a positive Covid-19 Test.
“Everyone now needs to be extra vigilant because we’ve had a very high-profile case of disruption,” Hockley told SEN radio.
“That’s where we need to make sure there’s social distancing, so we ask everyone to be respectful in the public.
“That’s the real shame because what we have seen is players wanting to interact with fans.
“But we’ve now got very clear protocols. As it comes to those on the field of play we need to make sure that people are operating in a really biosecure way.”
The emergence of the Omicron variant has seen COVID-19 cases on the rise in Melbourne and Sydney and, with the cities due to host the next two Ashes Tests, players will also be asked to exercise additional caution.
“We’re always on high alert,” Hockley said.
“I think it’s a wake-up call for everyone across the game. It’s a wake-up call for sport. It’s not unique to sport in Australia or around the globe. We’re seeing a fair bit of disruption.
“The decisions now we need to make within the protocols are making sure that when out in public the players are out in small groups, so we’re not taking out a whole team (with Covid) and that people are generally in outdoor settings, we’re socially distancing, and all those sorts of things.
“It’s our clear protocols supported by a really healthy dose of common sense.”
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