Bob Willis Trophy: English County Match Abandoned After Northamptonshire Player Tests COVID-19 Positive

Bob Willis Trophy: English County Match Abandoned After Northamptonshire Player Tests COVID-19 Positive

Bob Willis Trophy
Bob Willis Trophy

English county match in Bob Willis Trophy was abandoned after a Northamptonshire player was tested positive for the dreaded coronavirus. A four-day cricket match between two English county sides; Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire in Bristol was called-off on the opening day itself.

The Bob Willis Trophy match between Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire in Bristol was called off on Sunday after an unnamed Northamptonshire player returned positive for the deadly virus. The player was not part of the playing XI but some members of the county team were in contact with him 48 hours before he started showing COVID symptoms.

Bob Willis
Bob Willis played 90 Tests in which he claimed 325 wickets. Photo Credit: Web.

English County Match Called Off After A Non-Playing Member Tested Positive:

Gloucestershire was struggling on 66/6 in 29.4 overs but the match was eventually called off as the news broke out and after the development, the Northamptonshire squad returned home on Sunday itself. Both the teams, however, were out of contention for a final spot and hence the result of the match will have no impact on both sides.

“In the interests of player welfare, it has been agreed between Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire and the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that the Bob Willis Trophy match, currently being played at the Bristol County Ground, has been abandoned,” Northamptonshire said in a statement on its website.

Credits: Getty Images.

“Just before lunch of the first session of play, it came to light that a member of the Northamptonshire playing squad has tested positive for COVID-19.”

Even though the player was not part of English county team Northamptonshire’s current squad in Bristol as he was self-isolating at home while awaiting his test result.

ECB Believes Player Welfare Is Paramount

The players took lunch at an expected time of 12.30 pm but an unexplained delay to the restart for 2nd session was announced, and it took an hour until the umpires, captains and ground manager were seen on the field. Umpire Jeremy Lloyds lifted a stump to signify the end of the Bob Willis Trophy match, and a statement from both counties confirmed the abandonment.

English County, ECB, South Africa, England
ECB announces the schedule for South Africa. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire and the ECB are unified in the belief that player welfare is paramount and that no risks should be taken with the health and safety of the players, officials and administrators involved in this match,” it added.

The Bob Willis Trophy is played in three regionalized groups, consisting of six teams per group. Each English county will play five group-stage matches and will meet every team in their group once. The two group winners with the most points advance to the final. The groups consist of:-

NORTH GROUP: Derbyshire, Durham, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire.

CENTRAL GROUP: Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, Warwickshire, Worcestershire.

SOUTH GROUP: Essex, Kent, Hampshire, Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex.