Earlier this week, England cricket has announced that England’s one-day (ODI) cricket tour of South Africa was called-off due to fears of contracting the virus following the outbreak of positive tests among players and staff. Last week, the first match in Cape Town was already postponed after a member of the South Africa squad tested positive for COVID-19.
After rescheduling the match for Sunday, a hotel staff where the teams are staying also contracted the virus, while two members of England’s touring party returned “unconfirmed positive tests”, leaving the entire camp to isolate in their individual rooms. Players were apparently uneasy about continuing their stay in “bubbles” that had clearly been infiltrated, forcing the decision to abandon the tour.
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“The decision was taken jointly by the two boards to ensure the mental and physical health and welfare of players from both teams. The ECB and CSA will now work together to determine when the three-match series, which forms part of the ICC Cricket Men’s Super League, can take place in the future,” the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) said in a statement.
England’s two unnamed positive cases came after the games at Newlands and Paarl on Sunday were called off. Despite the postponement, England’s separate Twenty20 series in South Africa was unaffected, with the tourists running out 3-0 winners, which moved them to the top of the world rankings. However, England’s Test in Sri Lanka on 2 January for a two-match series is now in jeopardy.
“We were concerned about the potential impact that recent developments might have on the wellbeing of the touring party, and so after consultation with CSA, we have jointly made the decision to postpone the remaining matches in this series, in the best interest of the players’ welfare,” Tom Harrison, the ECB’s chief executive, said.
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