It was a rollercoaster ride that didn’t see him complete even two days in the commentary box at the Adelaide Oval Test, but Australian cricket legend Ian Chappell is finally back in Sydney.
The former Test captain, who last week flew to Adelaide to commentate for the ABC on the first match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series, was forced to leave Adelaide Oval because he lives on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
The outbreak of COVID-19 on the Northern Beaches has seen cases rise to 90 since first being detected last week.
While Chappell received a negative COVID-19 test result on Sunday night, he was still unsure about his next movements when Wide World of Sports contacted him yesterday afternoon.
However, the drama was finally put to an end when the 75-Test great was given the all-clear to fly home last night, arriving around 9pm.
“The flight I was originally scheduled to take this morning – they cancelled that and the opportunity came up for one last night, and I grabbed it,” Chappell told Wide World of Sports.
“I don’t have to quarantine. That’s it. I’ve done the test and that was negative, so I’ve just got to stay inside most of the time – really unless I’m shopping or something.”
Chappell was among a host of figures in Australian cricket forced to alter their movements as a result of the Northern Beaches outbreak.
Former Australia quick Brett Lee lives on the Northern Beaches and last Friday made a mad dash from Adelaide, where he had been commentating for Fox, so he wouldn’t miss out on spending Christmas with his family.
The dramatic series of events continued when Sydney-based Test squad members David Warner and Sean Abbott flew to Melbourne last Saturday, so they could quarantine before the arrival of the rest of the squad for the Boxing Day Test.
Warner and Abbott have not been to Sydney’s Northern Beaches from December 11 on, have returned negative COVID-19 tests and have completed three days of self-isolation in Melbourne, meaning they’ve satisfied Cricket Australia’s bio-security protocols.
However, Cricket Australia is still waiting for word on when Warner and Abbott are allowed to join the Australia squad, which arrived in Melbourne today.
The outbreak has also caused mayhem for a host of Northern Beaches residents employed by broadcasters Fox and Seven as support staff, as well as Cricket Australia staff.
Chappell said his chaotic trip to Adelaide had left him miffed.
“It was disappointing and frustrating,” Chappell said.
“You go there to work and you want to work, and when you know there’s cricket going on five minutes away and you can’t work on it, it’s a bit frustrating.”