ESSEX County Cricket Club's LV= Insurance County Championship game against Derbyshire has been abandoned.

The game at The Incora County Ground was called off ahead of the second day’s play, after it was confirmed this morning that an unnamed member of the Derbyshire playing squad tested positive for Covid19.

The player began self-isolating immediately and further players of the Derbyshire playing squad have been identified as close contacts.

The umpires have abandoned the match, due to isolation protocols and the impact on Derbyshire’s available playing squad.

The abandonment almost certainly ends Essex’s chances of qualifying for Division One as they needed to win the game with maximum points to finish in the top two of Group 1.

At the end of day one, Essex had taken three bowling points after dismissing Derbyshire for 146 and in reply were 86 for 3 from 38 overs.

If the game is confirmed as a draw, Essex would take 11 points and Derbyshire nine.

Essex say they have worked closely with Public Health England, Derbyshire and The ECB 'with the health and safety of players, staff and officials the first priority'.

In a statement Derbyshire confirmed: “Due to the isolation protocols and impact on the available playing squad, the decision has been made in conjunction with Public Health England and the England and Wales Cricket Board to abandon the fixture, with the awarding of points to be confirmed in due course.”

A decision on whether Derbyshire’s two remaining T20 matches against Northamptonshire on Friday and Yorkshire on Sunday will be made in consultation with PHE and the ECB.

Derbyshire’s chief executive Ryan Duckett said: “As a club, we have operated a robust testing regime among all staff throughout the return to cricket and have clear safety regulations in place.

“This isolated incident highlights the fact that sport is not exempt from the pandemic. It is of course a great disappointment to see the abandonment of a fixture but the safety of all players, staff and supporters must always come first.”

Last season, Gloucestershire’s game with Northamptonshire at Bristol was called off after 29.4 overs after a player tested positive for Covid 19 and subsequently the game was classed as a draw.

Confirmation of the awarding of points from the match will be announced in due course.