The game was due to be held at Middlesex’s Radlett outground but has been called off with the majority of Gloucestershire’s squad self-isolating. Some members of the county’s squad had been ruled out Gloucestershire’s win over Hampshire on Friday as what was described then as “precautionary Covid measures”.
An ECB statement explained that, as a result, Group A will now be decided on an ‘average points per completed match’ basis, under playing condition 188.8.131.52, an outcome at which Middlesex chief executive Andrew Cornish expressed his frustration, adding that he would “continue to discuss this situation with the ECB in the hope of a more satisfactory resolution for Middlesex Cricket”.
Cornish said: “Middlesex Cricket is extremely disappointed to hear of the cancellation of this fixture, which has a massive impact on our hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Royal London Cup.
“Whilst we have every sympathy with Gloucestershire’s situation, as we all endeavour to handle the impact of Covid on our playing groups, as a club Middlesex have taken every possible step to mitigate any Covid risk to our players, and to hear that our opponents tomorrow are only able to field one player not in isolation is extremely disappointing.
“In discussions with the ECB we have made every effort to get tomorrow’s game on, to no avail, and to have our campaign impacted in this way is saddening.
“We will continue to discuss this situation with the ECB in the hope of a more satisfactory resolution for Middlesex Cricket.
“Our thanks go to all Middlesex members and supporters who were due to attend the fixture who will sadly miss out on the opportunity to watch us in action. It's a real shame that with so little cricket to enjoy this summer in person, you are now unable to do so tomorrow, in what promised to be a thrilling encounter.”
The club’s president, Mike Selvey, tweeted: “Plenty of arcane rules in recreational cricket leagues but I bet you'd struggle to find one where a side that can't field a team could gain more than the one they were due to play. And just wait for the controversy at the top when the RL table is finalised.”
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