It’s been a week or so of the strangest Covid-19 protocol breaches yet. But rules are rules, and sports stars continue to put themselves in unnecessarily uncompromising positions.
Cricket has been amongst the worst-hit sports with two significant breaches. You have to feel a bit sorry for Jordan Cox, the 19-year-old Kent batsman who had just broken all manner of records. He fired 238 in a Bob Willis Trophy game against Sussex, and together with Jack Leaning put on a 423-run partnership – the biggest in Kent’s history.
A new star was born, and unfortunately a momentary lapse of thought from Cox saw him pose for a selfie with a number of adoring fans – that meant he had broken coronavirus protocol and has been forced to self-isolate for seven days. Unfortunately for Kent, that means he misses his side’s next game against Middlesex.
And then there was Mohammad Hafeez, the Pakistan all-rounder who is in his side’s T20 squad for the series against England. All of the players and coaching staff are in their own bubble, and that they are not allowed to lave the confines of the Rose Bowl in Southampton, which has its own hotel in which everyone within the bubble is staying.
The site has its own adjoining golf course which the players are allowed to enjoy, and it was there that Hafeez bumped into a 90-year-old local who was enjoying 18 holes. The Pakistan ace stopped for a photo, stood considerably less than two metres away, in a breach of safety protocol. He has now been forced to quarantine in his hotel room until a negative coronavirus test has been submitted.
Stay Safe and Use Your Brain
Cricket is the worst culprit for these innocent enough but still foolish breaches of the guidelines.
West Indies coach Phil Simmons reportedly went out for dinner outside of the team’s biosecure bubble and was forced to serve five days of isolation, while Jofra Archer was given the same course of action after he drove home to Brighton in-between test matches to walk his dog.
Of course, there have been numerous other instances of players and sports stars acting in haste throughout this pandemic. Aberdeen put the return of the Scottish Premiership in doubt when eight of their players admitted visiting a bar – the same bar held to be responsible for the second lockdown in the city – after their defeat to Rangers on the opening weekend of the new season. Two of their group tested positive for the virus, and the Dons’ next two games in the competition have been postponed as a safety precaution.
John Catlin, the American golfer, admitted to going stir crazy as part of the European Tour’s bubble, and ahead of the English Championship he and caddie Nathan Mulrooney popped out for a spot of dinner – but the restaurant wasn’t on the sanctioned list, and so he was forced to withdraw from the money-spinning event that he had been isolating for.
The tennis star Danielle Collins has been removed from the World Team Tennis tournament after admitting breaching protocol by leaving the Greenbrier Resort where the players were in quarantine.
And, of course, it’s well worth rewinding to May for arguably the best breach of Covid-19 guidelines so far. Augsburg head coach Heiko Herrlich had travelled to the team hotel ahead of their game against Wolfsburg, and he realised – like many of us have – that he’d forgotten to pack his toothpaste. So he risked it, went to a local shop, was caught out and forced to watch the match in isolation in his hotel room.