The inaugural edition of the ‘Hundred’ was hit by a COVID-19 scare when spin legend and London Spirit’s head coach Shane Warne and an unnamed person returned positive for COVID-19, forcing them into isolation. Warne was not feeling well ahead of the team’s clash against Southern Brave on Sunday. He was immediately tested for COVID-19 and the rapid antigen test of which returned a positive result. The RT PCR results are still awaited.
Warne is not the first head coach of the tournament to test positive for COVID-19. Earlier, Trent Rockets’ head coach Andy Flower had also tested positive for the virus about three weeks ago. In his absence, Paul Franks is taking charge of the team.
Meanwhile, the Delta variant of the COVID-19 is fast spreading in the UK. Earlier, ahead of the ODI series against Pakistan, England’s whole white-ball contingent was forced into isolation after three players and four staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
Later, Rishabh Pant, who is currently in England with the Indian squad for the five-match Test series against the ‘Three Lions’ also returned positive results. Later, Sri Lanka coach Grant Flower, who travelled to England for his team’s limited-overs series, tested positive for the virus just two days upon returning from England.
Coming back to the Hundred, former Australian great Ian Chappell is not too impressed by the new tournament. Chappel reckons that the tournament will force the players to focus just on numbers.
“Apart from reducing the number of balls to obtain a terrestrial television deal, the reasoning behind the Hundred could well be that it improves the chances of cricket fulfilling the Olympic dream. This is often cited as a way to spread the game’s popularity to a wider audience. Surely the T20 format could achieve that same outcome without yet another reduction,” said Chappell.