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T20 World Cup: referee Michael Gough retired for breaking Covid bubble

English referee Michael Gough ‘retired for six days in the T20 World Cup after the Covid bubble burst’ in the UAE when the official was forced to quarantine in his hotel room

  • The 41-year-old Gough is believed to have left his hotel bubble without permission on Friday.
  • He was retired for six days after missing the India vs New Zealand game.
  • Gough will be confined to his hotel room under strict quarantine for the duration
  • Referees are following the same Covid restrictions as players in the UAE.

English referee Michael Gough ‘has been withdrawn from the T20 World Cup for six days after breaking the Covid bubble’ in the United Arab Emirates.

Gough, 41, is believed to have left his hotel without permission on Friday to meet people outside of the officials’ bubble.

He was removed from officiating in the India-New Zealand match in Dubai on Sunday and replaced by Marais Erasmus.

English referee Michael Gough (right) 'has been removed from his duties at the T20 World Cup for six days after breaking Covid bubble rules'

English referee Michael Gough (right) ‘has been removed from his duties at the T20 World Cup for six days after breaking Covid bubble rules’

the Daily Mirror reported that Gough is confined to his hotel room under strict quarantine and being examined every other day while the ICC investigates the full extent of his breach and whether it should issue sanctions.

An ICC spokesperson said: “The Biosafety Advisory Committee has instructed referee Michael Gough to isolate himself for six days due to a violation of the event’s biosafety protocols.”

Officials are being treated in the same way as players participating in the tournament when it comes to Covid rules.

Gough had previously refereed the matches between Australia vs. South Africa and New Zealand vs. Pakistan during the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup, as well as the first round match between the Netherlands and Namibia.

Gough, photographed for Sportsmail last year, will have to stay in hotel quarantine for six days.

Gough, photographed for Sportsmail last year, will have to stay in hotel quarantine for six days.

Gough, photographed for Sportsmail last year, will have to stay in hotel quarantine for six days.

The former Durham starter hitter is considered one of the best umpires in the game. In April 2020, he was cited as the referee with the highest percentage of confirmed on-field decisions after a player review with 95.1 percent correct answers.

In June this year, he was one of the referees on the field of the ICC World Trials Championship Final between India and New Zealand.

Anyone who tests positive in the tournament, even asymptomatic, will have to isolate themselves for 10 days.

Any close contact, defined as being within two meters of the infected person for more than 15 minutes, will need to be isolated for six days. More casual contacts will be tested within a 24 hour period.

Only a limited number of family members can enter the team bubbles.

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