London: The players and staff involved in the inaugural edition of the Hundred have been urged to avoid shops, pubs and restaurants during the competition as the organisers seek to curb the spread of COVID-19.
A COVID compliance officer has also been appointed for each team to lessen the risk of whole squads being forced to self-isolate, which would leave the viability of Hundred fixtures in doubt, according to a report in ‘ESPNCricinfo’.
The UK government is set to relax its COVID-19 restrictions on Monday.
However, the provisions surrounding cases, which require the close contacts of a person who tested positive to self-isolate for 10 days – will continue until August 16.
“As a result, players and support staff involved in the Hundred have been told that they will not have to spend every night of the month-long competition in team hotels, but have instead been asked to avoid areas where the risk of infection is particularly high, such as shops, restaurants and pubs, and to minimise social interaction with anyone not involved in the competition,” the report stated.
Earlier this week, ECB’s chief executive Tom Harrison said a strict bio-bubble will not imposed for the upcoming India-England Test series despite multiple COVID-19 cases in both teams.
“I hope we’re in a position where we can cope through the protocols that are designed to cope with small outbreaks or being able to mitigate the impact on entire squads,” Harrison had said.
“There are risks – I can’t say they don’t exist because they do [but] we have to learn to cope with Covid. Mitigation is the word as opposed to prevention,” he added.
Two positive cases, including that of star wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, were detected in the Indian camp ahead of their practice game in Durham while England had to field a back squad in the series against Pakistan after finding multiple positive cases in the squad following the preceding series against Sri Lanka.
The Hundred is slated to begin with with the women’s fixture on July 21 followed by the men’s match a day later.