Home / World News / Australian all-rounder Ash Gardner to miss the start of Women’s World Cup after contracting COVID-19 in New Zealand

Australian all-rounder Ash Gardner to miss the start of Women’s World Cup after contracting COVID-19 in New Zealand

Big-hitting Australian all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner will miss the start of the Women’s World Cup after contracting COVID-19 in New Zealand.

Gardner is set to miss Australia’s opening two matches, beginning with the tournament opener against England on Saturday in Hamilton.

Cricket Australia (CA) says Gardner produced a positive rapid antigen test (RAT) result while in a training camp in the South Island, and will have to stay put there in isolation when the team travels north.

“Gardner will remain in Christchurch and in line with ICC and New Zealand Government Health guidelines will continue isolating for 10 days,” the CA statement read.

“All remaining Australian players and support staff have tested negative following subsequent RATs, and will proceed with existing plans to travel to Hamilton.”

Gardner played in a warm-up clash on Tuesday, thrashing 60 off 32 in the high-scoring loss to New Zealand.

She produced the positive RAT on Wednesday morning, receiving confirmation from a positive PCR result on Thursday morning.

A CA staff member is also staying in Christchurch to support Gardner.

Given government rules, she will also be sidelined for Australia’s second match – against Pakistan on Tuesday in Mount Maunganui – before coming into contention for game three against New Zealand in Wellington on March 13.

A bigger concern might be whether the virus could spread to her teammates, even if they’re yet to produce positive results.

Governing body ICC has introduced emergency rules for the tournament, allowing matches to go on with just nine players if necessary.

They have also declared their willingness to reschedule matches if required.

The Cricket World Cup is extremely unfortunately timed, given New Zealand’s success in staving off COVID-19 through the pandemic – until now.

New Zealand is in the grip of its worst COVID-19 outbreak during the entire pandemic, with cases topping 20,000 for the first time on Wednesday.

Teams are not confined to bubbles, though precautionary requirements have been taken by both the ICC and teams, including booking out whole floors of hotels, the use of charter planes and limited interaction with outside people.

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