The spike in COVID-19 cases in Sydney has impacted the Adelaide Test match, with several members of the broadcast teams there stood down as a precaution.
The spike in COVID-19 cases in Sydney has impacted the Adelaide Test match, with several members of the broadcast teams there stood down as a precaution.

Lee sent home as Sydney COVID cluster hits Test

Brett Lee has flown home from the Adelaide Test due to the COVID-19 virus which has sent a shudder through Australian cricket ranks.

Broadcasters Fox Sports and Channel 7 have had to stand down several members of their staff - including senior production figures, in response to Sydney's Northern Beaches cluster.

Lee is a resident of the Northern Beaches and is on a flight back home to Sydney to be with family.

Lee has no symptoms and has not been to any of the notified hot spots, but he has spent an enormous amount of time in quarantine due to the IPL and does not want to risk spending Christmas without his family.

Several staff members from both networks have been stood down pending COVID tests.

Cricket Australia made their first response to the outbreak when they sent an urgent memo for any media covering the game who had been in the Northern Beaches over the past three weeks to contact CA as soon as possible.

Fox Sports boss Steve Crawley said it was the right thing to do to send Lee home.

"We had a good talk last night. He went back this morning. Of course everyone is being responsible and he totally understood that," said Crawley.

"We have had to send out a number of staff to get them tested. Brett is in the air now, he's gone back this morning.

"It was just the right thing to do and he was very comfortable doing that."

Fox have had to stand down several senior production staff including directors and the producer who directs Mike Hussey's lab.

Channel 7 are also without a director and other key staff - and the networks have pledged to share resources if required.

There are also concerns about the back half of the Test summer and the Big Bash League schedule.

Elsewhere, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk - who has already said "no'' to India once this summer - now may have the destiny of the India-Australia Test series land in her lap.

Sydney is set to host the third Test from January 7 and while the match at this stage is not considered in any doubt cricket officials are watching developments closely and may have to make adjustments to crowd levels if the virus outbreak is not contained.

The greater issue is whether the Queensland Government, which has already banned travel to the Northern Beaches hot spot, could close its borders to all of Sydney.

That would require Queensland to give special approval for those in the cricket bubble to enter the state.

Queensland were forced to relinquish the rights to hosting six white ball games against India because it was not satisfied with biosecurity measures around the Indian team.

That came after Queensland bailed out the AFL season at short notice and became the safe haven for a large number of sporting codes.

Originally published as Lee sent home as Sydney COVID cluster hits Test


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