Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley has called on fans to respect social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols, in the wake of the incident that ruled Australia captain Pat Cummins out of the second Ashes Test.
Cummins was withdrawn from the team on the eve of the match with England at a restaurant in Adelaide after what was deemed to be a close contact of a customer who returned a positive COVID-19 test.
“Now everyone needs to be extra cautious as we have a very high-profile case of disruption. That’s where we need to make sure there’s social distancing, so we ask everyone to be respectful in public,” Hockley told SEN Radio.
“It is a real shame because what we have seen is players want to interact with fans. But now we have very clear protocols. As far as the playing field is concerned, we need to make sure that people are actually working in a bio-secure manner.”
The emergence of the Omicron version has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in Melbourne and Sydney and with the cities hosting the next two Ashes tests, players will also be asked to take extra precautions.
“We are always on high alert. I think it’s a wake-up call for everyone throughout the game. This is a wake-up call to the game. This is not unique to the sport in Australia or around the world. We are seeing a great deal of disruption.
“The decisions we need to make within protocol now are making sure that when players are out in small groups in public, we are not taking out the whole team (with COVID) and people are usually out in outdoor settings. We’re doing social distancing, and all those kinds of things.
“It’s our clear protocols that are supported by a really healthy dose of common sense,” Hockley said.