Coronavirus' tight grip on world sport

Steve Larkin
Nick Kyrgios has criticised Novak Djokovic's exhibition series after players contracted Covid-19

Nick Kyrgios, the voice of reason.

Words you never expected to read.

But such is the shifting sporting landscape in coronavirus times, the Australian tennis star has morphed from sometimes irrational to logical.

Krygios summed up a widespread sentiment regarding world No.1 Novak Djokovic's ill-fated exhibition events that began in Belgrade and moved to Croatia.

Participants Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki have all announced they have COVID-19, with Djokovic himself now getting tested.

The series drew criticism for having a players' party, while Coric, Djokovic and other players, including Marin Cilic, reportedly played basketball with a local team last week.

"Boneheaded decision to go ahead with the 'exhibition'," Kyrgios posted on Twitter.

"Speedy recovery fellas, but that's what happens when you disregard all protocols. This IS NOT A JOKE."

Krygios hit the nail on the proverbial head amid worldwide problems with sport's rush to return amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis. Cricket. Golf. Australian Rules. Soccer. All are grappling with positive COVID-19 tests.

In Australia, an Irishman walked into a house and is now the first AFL player to test positive.

Essendon's Irish recruit Conor McKenna's positive COVID-19 test, after he is understood to have visited open-house inspections, forced the AFL to postpone one match and enforce fresh training restrictions aimed at curbing coronavirus.

McKenna lives in Melbourne, a city in the midst of a COVID-19 spike.

The spike has prodded the NRL to move the Melbourne Storm out of Melbourne, for the time being.

Some 14,000 kilometres from Melbourne, similar coronavirus spikes in two seaside cities in southwestern Russia have become problematic for soccer.

Just 48 hours before a Russian Premier League soccer match, six players from FC Rostov tested positive the coronavirus. Three Dynamo Moscow players have also tested positive.

Separately, five players from Serbian soccer club Red Star Belgrade have recorded positive tests for the virus.

In England, one person has tested positive in the Premier League's latest round of screening - the first since competitive fixtures resumed some eight days ago.

Fringe Socceroo goalkeeper Mitch Langerak has tested positive in Japan; his Socceroos teammate Tomi Juric has tested positive in Bulgaria.

And Matildas midfielder Emily van Egmond's Orlando Pride have withdrawn from a one-off tournament in Utah after multiple of the club's players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 - the 25-game tournament is slated as one of the first major professional sports competitions to resume in the United States.

In Pakistan, three cricketers - Haider Ali, Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan - reported positive COVID-19 tests after being screened in Rawalpindi ahead of their tour of England next month.

In golf, the PGA Tour resumed last weekend. And five-time tour winner Nick Watney became the first golfer to test positive, withdrawing from the tournament in South Carolina.