Dan Lawrence and Chris Lynn each fined 10,000 Australian dollars – £5,640 – for breaching Big Bash coronavirus protocols; duo posed for photo with a fan and took a taxi ride; pair had to distance from team-mates in Monday’s match with Sydney Thunder in Canberra
Brisbane Heat’s Dan Lawrence and Chris Lynn have each been fined 10,000 Australian dollars – £5,640 – for breaching coronavirus protocols in the Big Bash League.
England and Essex batsman Lawrence and Heat captain Lynn posed for a photograph with a fan on Saturday as well as took a taxi ride and have been heavily reprimanded for their conduct which contravened Cricket Australia’s rules.
A Cricket Australia investigation concluded with the duo – who have accepted their punishment – having 4,000 Australian dollars suspended until the end of the season.
Heat have also been fined 50,000 Australian dollars, with 20,000 dollars suspended for the remainder of the Big Bash League campaign.
Lawrence – named in England’s 16-man Test squad for January’s tour of Sri Lanka – and Lynn were forced to distance from team-mates during Monday’s defeat to Sydney Thunder after being permitted to play.
The pair – who have tested negative for Covid-19 since the breach was discovered – had to use a different changing room to their colleagues, had designated seats away from the team in the dugout and were also prohibited from joining the huddle during wicket celebrations.
Sean Carroll, Cricket Australia’s head of integrity and security, said: “Medically, this particular breach was lower risk, but actions of this kind have the potential to compromise the integrity of and confidence in our bio-security protocols.
“Potential COVID-19 hotspots and related impacts on State borders remain a challenge for the league and it is imperative that all protocols are adhered to, giving us the best opportunity to move around the country and execute the full schedule.
“While Australia’s current COVID-19 infection rate remains low, we must ensure that appropriate measures are taken to reduce the possibility of any player, staff member or official being connected to a declared hot spot.
“State/Territory Governments enforced isolation and restrictions for crossing borders for declared hot spots may impact the individuals involved, the team and potentially jeopardise the BBL season.”
Lynn issued an apology on behalf of himself and Lawrence, saying: “I would like to say sorry to my team-mates, the club, and the Heat fans for being careless and not observing the protocols that were put in place to ensure the continuity of the competition.
“Having a photo with a fan at a licensed venue and travelling in a taxi seem pretty low risk but they were identified in our briefings as examples of things you couldn’t do.
“I was probably lulled into a false sense of security that because everything has been improving around the country, we were getting closer to normal behaviour.
“But the rules, including avoiding close contact, are there to protect the BBL competition and all the players and teams and I do apologise sincerely to everyone for jeopardising that.
“I can speak on behalf of Dan as well to say that we were are both very regretful at making such a mistake in judgment.
“I appreciate all the efforts that went into enabling Dan and I to play [on Monday night] and will ensure this doesn’t happen again.”