Victoria all-rounder Will Sutherland has tested COVID-19 positive ahead of the side’s encounter against New South Wales in the ongoing Sheffield Shield tournament on Friday (November 19). Ahead of the toss, Sutherland's news came out. Cricket Australia (CA) issued a statement immediately about the COVID-19 threat in the Victoria camp. The match has also been postponed for the same reason.
All the Victoria players have been instructed to go under isolation as CA are investigating the matter. “The Marsh Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and Victoria at the Sydney Cricket Ground, scheduled to begin today, has been postponed due to a possible COVID-19 case in the Victorian side,” Cricket Australia said in a statement 30 minutes prior to the toss.
“In the course of routine COVID-19 testing, Will Sutherland has returned a test result which requires further analysis. The Victorian team is currently self-isolating while this analysis and investigation take place. Cricket Australia will provide further updates in due course,” the statement added.
The Sheffield shield encounter was crucial for the Australia Test bound players ahead of the Ashes which is set to begin on December 8. The New South Wales team had players such as Josh Hazlewood, Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Nathan Lyon. All the players are in the Ashes squad named for the first two Tests against England.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 has returned to cricket as Sutherland’s testing positive is the third instance in the past two days. Sri Lanka fielding coach Shane McDermott and Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir tested COVID-19 positive ahead of Sri Lanka and West Indies Test match and Abu Dhabi T10 league respectively. Both the series are likely to go ahead as per schedule.
On the other hand, CA will provide further updates about the rescheduling about the Victoria and New South Wales match in few days.