Ireland's Neil Rock tests positive for Covid-19

Neil Rock in action for Northern Knights Getty Images

Ireland wicketkeeper-batter Neil Rock has tested positive for Covid-19. Rock was part of the 15-member T20I squad named for the home series against South Africa, which is set to begin with the ODIs in Dublin on Sunday. Batter Stephen Doheny has been called up as a replacement.

The uncapped Rock has been isolated from the squad as he awaits a follow-up test at the team hotel. According to a Cricket Ireland release, one player and one staff member who came in contact with Rock will also be tested.

Meanwhile, Doheny will undergo a Covid-19 test as well and will join the squad on Monday if given a negative result.

"Due to our biosecurity measures and contact tracing, we are satisfied that we do not have any genuine close contact cases and this should therefore have minimal impact on the squad," Mark Rausa, Cricket Ireland's Head of Sport Science, said. "However, out of an abundance of caution due to the proximity of the series start, we will test one player and one staff member who had confirmed they spent a short amount of time with Neil with correct Covid-safe precautions in place. We expect them to test negative and re-join the squad tomorrow."

This three-match series, which is scheduled to begin on July 19, will be Ireland's first in T20Is since March 2020, following various cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Rock was among the three uncapped players called up; the others being William McClintock and Ben White.