Sussex face covid-weakened Kent side as 14 cricketers self-isolate

Preparations for Kent’s final LV= County Championship Group C game with Sussex were thrown into chaos this morning (Sunday 11 July).

A positive covid-19 PCR test meant that 14 members of Kent’s first-team squad went into self-isolation.

An unidentified member of the Kent Spitfires Vitality Blast side that beat Surrey on Friday night (9 July) tested positive yesterday.

And as his team mates were all identified as close contacts, club officials were left scrambling to assemble a scratch squad in time for today’s game.

Kent’s director of cricket Paul Downton and head coach Matt Walker worked through the night to assemble a mixture of red-ball specialists and second-teamers.

And the start was delayed until noon to allow a number of players to be registered in time.

Heino Kuhn was named captain of an XI that included first-teamers Harry Podmore, Matt Quinn, Nathan Gilchrist and Marcus O’Riordan.

Kent chief executive Simon Storey said: “With the emergence of the delta variant and recent release in lockdown restrictions, the club has been conscious of the increased possibility of an outbreak.

“Overnight, the club has worked swiftly to identify a replacement squad that will be ready to take on Sussex in the much-anticipated Canterbury Cricket Week and will also be preparing for the final two matches of the group stages of the Vitality Blast, with a quarter-final berth already secured.”

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