Gillette ODI Series v New Zealand
Kane Richardson details his coronavirus scare
Fast bowler initially thought doctor was joking about need to be tested, as Australian players await news about IPL season
17 March 2020, 04:32 PM AEST
Australia pace bowler Kane Richardson has detailed his coronavirus scare as the pandemic brings cricket to a grinding halt across the globe.
Richardson was quarantined from the ODI squad in a hotel room for 26 hours ahead of what proved to be Australia's only match against New Zealand in Sydney last Friday, with the series ultimately called off when the Kiwis had to depart prematurely.
"I was at risk because I'd travelled overseas within (the previous) two weeks and I had one of the four symptoms, so that was the reason I got tested," the 29-year-old told cricket.com.au's The Unplayable Podcast.
"I thought it was all a joke at the time but (the team doctor) was adamant it wasn't.
"He spoke to various people on the phone to make sure he was doing the right thing and got the biggest swab I've ever seen out and stuck it into the back of my nose and back of my mouth, so it wasn't a pleasurable experience but that was the protocol so I was happy to go along with it.
"I wasn't expecting a positive result and thankfully that's what happened … I'm all good and I got the OK to go outside and in the fresh air again."
Richardson said the country's cricketers were still wrapping their heads around the swiftness of the onset of the virus worldwide, with countless major sporting competitions impacted.
Seventeen Australians hold Indian Premier League contracts, which was scheduled to start on March 29 but – for now – has been pushed back to April 15.
With the levels of uncertainty pervading sport presently however, that date could change at any time.
"We're just waiting to hear," Richardson continued. "A lot of the blokes have opinions – 'it's going to get cancelled', this and that – but again it can change in a day or a week, so I'll just sit by the phone and get ready to play for the 15th at the moment – that's what I'm thinking.
"(The Australia squad) were all sitting around chatting about it. It's happened out of nowhere.
"A lot of us were going to be away from now til the end of the IPL, so to now be sitting at home with absolutely no idea when the next game of cricket is going to be for any of us, just shows how quickly this has grown.
"Even a week ago we were flying back from South Africa and there was no thought of coronavirus at all in the air or when we got back to the airport.
"It's hard to believe we're sitting here at home with everything being cancelled but when you watch the news and see what's going on in the world, it's definitely the right call.
"I think the main issue that a lot of boys had was travelling away from home and if you happen to catch it, you're stuck in a hotel room for two weeks. That's the sticking point I reckon a lot of the guys were uncomfortable with."