Auckland, March 15 (IANS) New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson had been cleared of COVID-19 after going through testing and a 24-hour isolation period. Ferguson returned to Auckland on Sunday and said that he only had a “very mild cold.”
He had been sent for testing for coronavirus after he reported with a soar throat following New Zealand’s closed door ODI match against Australia in Sydney.
“Certainly got a few texts on Saturday but I was quick to announce that it was only a few cold symptoms and happy to be home now,” Ferguson is quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“Probably a bit over-exaggerated as to how I was,” he said. “I just sort of had very, very mild cold symptoms and the procedures were as they were and followed by Tommy [Simsek, physio] and the support staff. Completely understandable. So yeah, kinda had a day in the hotel room by myself.”
Ferguson took two wickets in the Sydney ODI which Australia won by 71 runs. The series was eventually called off and the Kiwis went back home.
“It was strange certainly playing the game under the circumstances and with an empty crowd. For sure, that was an odd experience. At the same time, we were a little bit disappointed with how the game ended up. And yeah, that night I was sort of taken to get swabs and talked to the doctor there and fortunately all was good and yeah happy to be home,” he said.
Ferguson could not leave for New Zealand with the rest of the team however due to the requirement to serve the quarantine period. He got back just in time before New Zealand’s travel restrictions were imposed on Sunday.
“We had pretty clear comms from our support staff. We knew if we got back tonight it’d be all good,” he said. “So when we got the negative test for the virus last night we just took it as we can and then it was nice to come home today. Fortunately, it was only the day. So not too bad. They went home last night and just had to stay the one more night in Sydney. Not too many issues there.”
The outbreak of coronavirus has brought the cricketing calendar to a virtual standstill with South Africa’s ODI series in India also rescheduled for a later date and the start of the Indian Premier League postponed to April 15. While Ferguson understands the need for these moves, he hopes to get back to work as quickly as possible.
“I think everyone in every industry is probably feeling it a little bit,” he said. “Not just us in sport. Certainly we want to play cricket but under these circumstances we are following the directions of people in much higher power than me. Yeah just taking it in my stride but looking forward to playing cricket soon,” he said.