Put in an orange suit and placed in isolation: Ireland’s Pretorius tells of shock of Covid false positive

Ruhan Pretorius has spoken of the shock of testing positive for Covid and being dramatically placed in isolation after Ireland Wolves’ first one-dayer against the Bangladesh Emerging Players was abandoned mid-match.

The 30-year-old allrounder, who took his annoyance out on what has been confirmed as a false positive by blasting 90 in the second match two days later, albeit in a losing cause, said: “Halfway through the match I was pulled off the field and the match was stopped. To be then told I was potentially Covid-positive was a shock.

“I was isolated immediately from the team and was told to wear an orange suit – kind of like a sweat suit, but this one was for isolation. I was then taken in an ambulance to the team hotel, where I was immediately sent to the isolation room and spent [Friday] evening there.”

In an interview on the Cricket Ireland website, he added: “I underwent two tests: an emergency test and another along with the rest of the team. Luckily, both came back negative and the medical staff advised that the original test was a false positive, so I was able to resume the tour.”

And he showed no ill-effects for the experience as he helped his side get off to a strong start in Chattogram, adding 88 with James McCollom for the first wicket in a little over 20 overs and he had hit nine fours and a six from 125 balls when he was third out with the score on 175. Ireland reached 263 for seven in their allotted overs and although Pretorius’ fast-medium accounted for Bangladesh opener Tanzid Hasan, the young left-hander Shamim Hossain thrashed an unbeaten 53 off 39 balls to guide the hosts home with two balls to spare.

“To be honest,” Pretorius said, “I didn’t think I’d be playing. I was in a bit of a weird space after trying to get used to being in isolation and thinking worst-case I might be there for 14 days if it was positive.

“To deal with it mentally was challenging – I was preparing myself for the worst. However, after getting the two negative results, I just tried to re-focus and get back in my normal routine.”

Captain Harry Tector said of the result: “I thought we were in a good position with 23 needed off two overs but I’ve seen it so often before, a batter comes out and hits a couple of good shots and the momentum swings. Unfortunately we weren’t able to wrestle it back in those last eight or nine balls and those are the small margins these sort of games come down to.

“I thought Ru batted brilliantly given the emotional swings he would have been going through in the previous 36 hours. From playing and getting his first wicket for the Wolves and then finding out he’s Covid and into isolation and then finding he’s false positive and doing what he did today.

“He certainly led the way with the bat. They [he and McCollom] were brilliant up top in challenging conditions and really applied themselves.”

The third of the five-match series takes place tomorrow [Tuesday].

Jingle by Richard Peel