The unnamed player returned a positive lateral flow test last night (Sunday) and is now self-isolating along with the rest of the Derbyshire squad involved in the Essex game and the players who travelled to Durham on Friday for the Vitality Blast match.
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.”
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 so if the game is confirmed as a draw, Essex would take 11 points and Derbyshire nine..
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.
Meanwhile all-rounder, Fynn Hudson-Prentice, has signed a contract to return to his home county of Sussex at the end of the 2021 season.
The 25-year-old has been a mainstay of Derbyshire’s side since scoring 99 and taking a wicket with his first ball on debut against Middlesex in 2019.
He has gone on to score 948 runs and claim 70 wickets across all formats for the Club to date, including best figures of 5-68.
Head of Cricket, Dave Houghton, said: “I want to thank Fynn for his efforts throughout his time with Derbyshire; he’s kicked on over the last year and developed into a good all-rounder.
“We of course wanted to keep Fynn at Derbyshire and he was offered a new contract, but we understand that his decision is about more than cricket and wish him the very best for the future.”
Hudson-Prentice added: “I’ve really enjoyed my time at Derbyshire and I’ll always be grateful to the Club for giving me the opportunity and to the supporters for making me feel so welcome.
“It’s a great Club and I am sorry to be leaving, but the opportunity to move back to Sussex and re-join a county which I grew up with and which takes me closer to family was something I couldn’t turn down.”