Ben Lister (Auckland Aces) becomes New Zealand's and the Plunket Shield's first COVID-19 replacement player, under the new precautions introduced this season, with Mark Chapman awaiting test results after having felt ill yesterday. Lister replaced the left-handed batsman just before the start of the Plunket Shield match against Otago at the and not in the middle of the match as this game started a day after all the other matches in the tournament.
The ICC had earlier approved COVID-19 replacements, just like concussion substitutes, on a like-for-like basis. However, the same will not be used in whit-ball cricket.
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead, who was watching the action unfold at the Eden Park Outer Oval, Auckland said he did not learn about Chapman until the morning of the game. "I wasn't aware until I got here this morning, that Mark Chapman had been feeling ill and had to get a Covid test. But from my perspective, it's great that he's not penalised for doing the right thing in what is obviously different times we face in the world," Stead said according to ESPN Cricinfo.
"Just shows that we and cricket aren't immune to that either, so following the right protocols is definitely the right thing to do."
Left-arm pacer Lister struck early in the match removing Cam Hawkins for just one. After being reduced to 33 for 6, Michael Rippon scored 108 to take Otago to 186.
(With inputs from NZC Media Release)