The first one-day match between Bangladesh Emerging Team and Ireland A had to be abandoned after 30 overs of action in Chattogram on Friday when a positive Covid-19 test report came in for allrounder Ruhan Pretorius, who was a part of the Irish playing XI. The 30-year-old Pretorius had been tested on Thursday.
ESPNcricinfo understands that the report, which had been delayed in reaching the venue, came in after the match had started, with the visitors asking the local side to bat first. At the first drinks break then, Pretorius, who had bowled four overs by that time, left the field. The Ireland team management had initially considered using a replacement player, but later decided not to take part in the game after the second drinks interval.
A Cricket Ireland statement on the events of the day said, "Prior to today's game, both squads received negative results for Covid, and the game proceeded as per protocols. However, a review of results by mid-morning by the local laboratory detected one positive test in the Ireland Wolves (A) squad.
"Play was suspended and the player was immediately isolated ahead of a further test today"
BCB's chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury said that there was no option but to call off the match because of the timing of the test report reaching the relevant people, and confirmed that the other members of the two sides would be tested again before the next one-dayer, scheduled for Sunday.
"We follow the protocol of taking the individual into isolation as soon as he is found positive," Chowdhury said. "The report [for Pretorius] arrived slightly later in the morning, which left us with no choice. Our next step is to test everyone before the next game."
The match, which was being aired on the BCB's official YouTube channel, stopped abruptly at the end of the 30th over of the first innings - the Bangladeshis were 122 for 4 at that stage - with the umpires seemingly informing the batsmen of the development even as the Ireland fielders walked off the field. The details emerged later.
The development in Chattogram came a day after the Pakistan Super League had to be postponed after the completion of just 14 matches following a spurt in the number of positive Covid-19 cases among players. The number had reached seven - including a support staffer - forcing the organisers to take the drastic step.
Ireland A have already played their only four-day game of the tour, and this was the first of the five-match one-day series against Bangladesh Emerging Team, with the next matches slotted for March 7, 9, 12 and 14. The two sides are also scheduled to play two T20s on March 17 and 18.
Pretorius is an experienced hand, having played for close to a decade in the South African and Irish domestic circuits. In 62 first-class matches, he has 2610 runs at an average of 29.32, to go with 157 wickets at 23.66. He has also played 54 List A games, including the one on Friday, for 1408 runs and 46 wickets, and 33 T20s, in which he has 409 runs and 22 wickets.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84