Abu Dhabi player in Emirates D20 tournament tests positive for coronavirus

Uncertainty over team's participation in tournament given travel regulations in UAE's capital

Pakistan and Sri Lanka cricketers play on the fourth day of the second cricket Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on January 11, 2014.  AFP PHOTO/Ishara S. KODIKARA / AFP PHOTO / Ishara S.KODIKARA

Abu Dhabi’s continued involvement in the Dream 11 Emirates D20 competition is in doubt after one of their players tested positive for Covid-19.

Given the travel between the capital and Dubai, and the regulations regarding PCR tests when returning to Abu Dhabi, the D20 fixtures were arranged so they would play two games on each of their match days.

However, neither of their fixtures – against Ajman and Sharjah – in Dubai went ahead on Wednesday, with the tournament organisers offering a brief statement with no explanation as to the reasons.

“The matches of Team Abu Dhabi in the Emirates D20 which were scheduled for 1pm and 9pm today are being rescheduled and [an] announcement for the new schedule will be made shortly,” the Emirates Cricket Board wrote on social media.

The situation regarding travel between the two Emirates means the Abu Dhabi side undergo more regular Covid testing than any of the other five sides involved.

It is believed the player received his positive result ahead of the scheduled match against Sharjah on Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday afternoon, the ECB issued a statement saying the matches would not be replayed, and that Sharjah and Ajman would be given the points for the fixtures.

“ECB and the organising committee of the Emirates D20 tournament can confirm that Match 1 and Match 3 scheduled for Wednesday December 16 have been cancelled,” the statement said.

“Sharjah and Ajman will each be awarded the winning allocation of three points.

“ECB can also confirm that a player due to participate in these matches has tested positive for Covid-19.

“The player is currently safe and being treated in accordance with ECB tournament protocols."

The competition returned with three fixtures on Thursday. In the first match, unbeaten Fujairah extended their lead at the top of the table with a 14-run win over the ECB Blues.

Usman Khan scored a half-century as Fujairah posted 153-6 from their 50 overs. Sabir Rao then took 4-13 as ECB were restricted to 139 for nine in reply.

As per the original fixture list, Abu Dhabi are scheduled to return to action until Sunday with a double-header against Fujairah and then Dubai.