Derbyshire's match against Essex abandoned after positive Covid-19 test

With home players forced to self-isolate, umpires decide to call off Derby fixture

Derbyshire's players prepare to take the field, LV= Insurance County Championship, Derbyshire vs Warwickshire, Derby, June 3, 2021

Play was abandoned at Derby after the first day  •  Getty Images

Derbyshire's LV= Insurance County Championship match against Essex at Derby has been abandoned after a member of the home side returned a positive Covid-19 test.
The unnamed player has been forced to self-isolate, along with the entire squad to face Essex and those involved in Friday's Blast fixture against Durham, who were deemed close contacts. Due to the impact on Derbyshire's available playing staff, the umpires took the decision to call off the game.
"The ECB has worked closely with Public Heath England and both Derbyshire and Essex County Cricket Clubs with the health and safety of players, staff and officials the first priority," an ECB statement said. "Confirmation on the awarding of points from the match will be announced in due course."
The abandonment comes a day after Kent were forced to pick a new squad for their Championship match against Sussex, and in the wake of a similar episode for the England men's team, when a number of players and staff tested positive for Covid-19 after an ODI in Bristol.
"As a club, we have operated a robust testing regime among all staff throughout the return to cricket and have clear safety regulations in place for supporters," Derbyshire's chief executive, Ryan Duckett, said.
"This isolated incident highlights the fact that sport is not exempt from the pandemic, and I'd like to thank the club's medical and venue staff, as well as Public Health Derby and the ECB for their immediate response in safely handling the matter.
"It is of course a great disappointment to see the abandonment of a fixture, but the safety of all players, staff and supporters must always come first and the club is grateful for the understanding of supporters."
While Derbyshire were already confirmed as finishing bottom of Group One of the Championship, defending champions Essex still held out hope of sneaking into the top two - and thereby qualifying for Division One in the next stage of the competition - but required a comprehensive win at Derby and other results to go their way.