NEW England batsman Dan Lawrence was ordered to keep his distance from Big Bash team-mates following an alleged Covid-19 breach.
Lawrence, 23, was allowed to play for Brisbane Heat in Canberra on Monday even though he and team captain Chris Lynn reportedly posed for a selfie while having dinner on Saturday.
Players are allowed to eat outside in restaurants but the interaction with members of the public violated Big Bash regulations.
Essex star Lawrence and Lynn changed in a separate room, sat apart from the rest of the team in the dug-out and were not permitted to join wicket celebrations.
Lynn was forced to speak loudly to deliver his team talk from a safe distance.
The bizarre situation came just three days after Lawrence was chosen for England’s two-Test tour of Sri Lanka next month – his first international call-up.
Cricket Australia’s chief medical officer John Orchard said: “Factors including the outdoor nature of the contest, the generally socially-distanced nature of cricket and the fact that Canberra is considered a low-risk city support the conclusion that both could play without meaningful risk.”
Lynn could not remove all his normal habits and once touched gloves while batting with Tom Cooper.
Lawrence scored 20 from 19 balls and Lynn 69 from 44 deliveries.
But the Heat lost by four wickets to Sydney Thunder with all-rounder Daniel Sams blasting 65 not out from just 25 balls.
England vice-captain Jos Buttler has admitted the players were alarmed by the spate of positive Covid tests that persuaded them to quit the tour of South Africa last week.
Buttler, writing in his column for Sky Sports, explained: “When it became clear there could be some risk, there were some meetings on Zoom and players were able to talk about how they were feeling.
“I think from just thinking about cricket and enjoying it as best we could, to suddenly having games called off and positive tests, there was a lot of anxiety.
“With the news of two positive Covid tests among the staff, one who worked closely with our side of the bubble, there was lots of nervousness and anxiety.
"Cricket became the last thing on anyone’s mind.”
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