Cricket Australia (CA) on Monday announced that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nick Hockley had returned positive for Covid-19 and clarified that he “has had no direct contact with the Test players”.
Issuing a statement, the CA said that Hockley, who is fully vaccinated, had developed mild symptoms and a PCR test revealed he was positive for the virus.
“Hockley developed mild symptoms and immediately got tested and isolated, with a positive result now confirmed. He has had no direct contact with the Australian Men’s Test squad, or other teams, in accordance with Cricket Australia’s biosecurity protocols. Fully vaccinated, Hockley is isolating at home with his family and will continue to follow the NSW (New South Wales) Government guidelines and quarantine protocols,” the CA statement said.
On the other hand, Hockley said he was in good health and was recovering well.
“After experiencing mild symptoms, I immediately got a PCR test which has since returned a positive result. I am isolating at home with my family, who have returned negative results,” Hockley was quoted as saying by sen.com.au.
“Over recent days, we have seen cases in relation to the Australian men’s Ashes team and some of the BBL (Big Bash League) teams. It is a reminder of the complexity COVID-19 presents for major sporting events and the importance of being vaccinated, getting a booster as soon as possible, and getting tested as soon as symptoms present themselves.”
Recently, Hockley had said that despite Covid-19 cases being detected in the England and Australia Test camp, the fourth Ashes Test, scheduled at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) from January 5, will be “safe”.
“We’ve got very robust COVID-safe plans that are led by the venues working closely with the health authorities,” Hockley had said.
Earlier after the end of the second Ashes Test between hosts Australia and England, Hockley had confirmed that heightened levels of protocols will be implemented during the ongoing series from the Boxing Day Test onwards.
Hockley had said that the level had been raised from three to four due to the evolving COVID-19 situation in Australia.
Notably, newly-appointed Australia captain Pat Cummins was forced to miss the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval after the pacer had come in close contact with a Covid-positive person while dining out in his country.
“So (for Boxing Day), we’ll be going up from our protocol level 3 to Level 4,” Hockley was quoted as saying by SEN Breakfast on Tuesday.
“We’ve had different levels of protocols depending on the risk environment… even before the Pat (Cummins) situation, Melbourne and Sydney were higher on the risk level than Brisbane and Adelaide and that was due to the number of cases in the community,” said Hockley.
“Really the main difference (between Level 3 and 4) is that we ask players to avoid big crowded indoor public settings. They can still go out, still go to the beach, still go to the park. They can still go out for dinner, but we ask them to dine outside and in small groups so if there is another hotspot, the whole group is not caught up. So we’re trying to strike that balance between making sure everyone has a great quality of life but also we’re able to keep the series going,” added Hockley.