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News

Covid outbreak causes cancellation of Gloucestershire visit to Middlesex

Middlesex CEO frustrated as club's hopes of qualification take a hit in Group A

Radlett will not now be hosting Gloucestershire's clash with Middlesex  •  Getty Images

Radlett will not now be hosting Gloucestershire's clash with Middlesex  •  Getty Images

A Covid-19 outbreak in the Gloucestershire squad has led to the cancellation of their Royal London Cup clash with Middlesex at Radlett on Sunday, after the visitors were forced to put all but one member of their playing staff into isolation.
The news, which was confirmed by the ECB on Sunday evening, is the latest outbreak to impact the county schedule, following Kent's fielding of a team of second XI and club players against Sussex in the County Championship last month, and the mid-match cancellation of Essex's visit to Derbyshire, which effectively ended Essex's hopes of defending their twin red-ball titles.
The Gloucestershire outbreak was greeted with frustration by Middlesex's chief executive, Andrew Cornish, given the impact that the shared points could have on his side's hopes of reaching the knock-out stages of the Royal London Cup. Middlesex are currently seventh in Group A, with two wins from six.
"Middlesex Cricket is extremely disappointed to hear of the cancellation of this fixture, which has a massive impact on our hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Royal London Cup," Cornish said.
"Whilst we have every sympathy with Gloucestershire's situation, as we all endeavour to handle the impact of Covid on our playing groups, as a Club Middlesex have taken every possible step to mitigate any Covid risk to our players, and to hear that our opponents tomorrow are only able to field one player not in isolation is extremely disappointing.
"In discussions with the ECB we have made every effort to get tomorrow's game on, to no avail, and to have our campaign impacted in this way is saddening.
"We will continue to discuss this situation with the ECB in the hope of a more satisfactory resolution for Middlesex Cricket."
In a statement, the ECB confirmed that Gloucestershire's squad members would be required to self-isolate in accordance with the UK government's existing test-and-trace protocols, and that under Playing Condition 16.11.4.5, Group A of the Royal London Cup will now be decided on an "average points per completed match" basis.
Middlesex will be issuing refunds to all spectators who have pre-purchased tickets and paid for car parking to Sunday's game.
"Our thanks go to all Middlesex members and supporters who were due to attend the fixture who will sadly miss out on the opportunity to watch us in action," Cornish added. "It's a real shame that with so little cricket to enjoy this summer in person, you are now unable to do so tomorrow, in what promised to be a thrilling encounter."