Crazy scenes as Australia’s ODI was postponed at the last minute due to COVID

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Australia’s second one-day international against the West Indies in the Caribbean has been postponed in bizarre and dramatic circumstances before a ball could be bowled after one of the host’s backroom staff tested positive for COVID-19.

The teams had been named, the captains had pitched and Australia was poised to hit at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Thursday when proceedings were suddenly halted just before the first bowl was due.

Amid a brief and confusing delay for spectators as the players, support staff and match officials retreated to their dressing rooms, the International Cricket Council subsequently announced in a statement on Twitter that the match had been halted.

“The 2nd ODI between the West Indies and Australia has been suspended with immediate effect due to a positive COVID-19 case,” the governing body said.

“All personnel in the bubble will be placed in isolation.”

Cricket West Indies later confirmed that the positive test was given by “a non-playing member” of their staff, explaining that the test result was not known until after the toss had started.

“The established COVID-19 protocols dictate that all members of both teams and match officials immediately return to the team hotel and be retested later in the day,” a statement from the CWI said.

“They remain in isolation in their hotel rooms until the results of their PCR test are returned.

“A decision on when the match will be replayed will be made at a later date once all test results have been confirmed.”

Australia had won the opening game of the three-game series on Tuesday, but there must now be some serious question as to whether the series can be completed, with the last ODI scheduled for Saturday.

The Australians would then head to Bangladesh for the international T20 series of five matches, which was confirmed on Wednesday.

Johnny Grave, the CEO of Cricket West Indies, said he hoped the results of the new round of testing would be known Friday morning.

A Cricket Australia spokesperson added: “The Australian squad have returned to the team hotel and are in room isolation. No further comment will be made at this stage.”

The two teams stayed on different floors of the hotels in both St. Lucia and Barbados where the first two games are scheduled, but they all traveled on the same charter plane between the islands last Saturday.

Riley Meredith was due to make his ODI debut and had received his cap from Aaron Finch just minutes before news of the positive came out.

This is the first time the coronavirus has hit Australia in a series, with the team touring England and New Zealand without a hitch. They also successfully hosted India last summer.

© AAP

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