New Zealander Ben Lister becomes cricket’s first Covid-19 substitute

Auckland bowler Ben Lister has become cricket’s first Covid-19 substitute after replacing team-mate Mark Chapman for a Plunket Shield game in New Zealand.

Chapman felt unwell on Monday and was withdrawn from the first-class match against Otago pending the outcome of a coronavirus test.

Chapman, 26, can re-join the game if his test result comes back negative.

The International Cricket Council approved Covid-19 substitutes for Test matches in June and domestic competitions have since followed similar guidelines.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead, who was watching the match at Eden Park, said: “I wasn’t aware until I got here 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.

“[It] just shows that we and cricket aren’t immune to that either, so following the right protocols is definitely the right thing to do.”

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