CAPE TOWN: After a South African player tested positive for Covid-19, England doubted the strength of their bio-safe ecosystem in Cape Town, prompting the postponement of the first one-day international scheduled for Newlands on Friday.
After the positive test result, the game was moved to Sunday in Paarl just an hour before it was due to start, and the future of the tour will be decided on Saturday when both teams and hotel staff are re-tested again.
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Both teams are living in the same hotel, but aside from when they are on the pitch, they have been kept apart.
England voiced fear and challenged the trust they have in the bio-safe atmosphere and rightly so if there is an athlete who has tested positive in the last week having caught the virus. South Africa team physician Shuaib Manjra said in a video released on Friday that we appreciate that question. Clearly, there has been a form of violation that we have thoroughly reviewed to ascertain when this occurred. We spoke to the athlete, looked at surveillance cameras and other evidence, and we haven’t been able to determine where the source was to date. Yet it is obviously a cause for concern.
Manjra denied that without permission, any player had left the team hotel. I may say categorically that no player is allowed to exit the area of the hotel. Unless he does so in an assigned, official car, the protection would not allow the player to leave.
If the checks on Saturday show more promising cases, the tour will definitely be called off and the matches planned for Sunday, Monday and Wednesday will be cancelled.
Ashley Giles, Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, said the decision to re-test players was the correct one but did not comment on the alleged breach at their hotel.
I would like to thank Cricket South Africa for their constructive approach to postponing Friday’s One-day International on behalf of the England touring party and the ECB, he said in a media statement. The health and wellbeing of the England team and management committee is our number one concern, and after consultations between the two Boards and the respective medica group, the right decision was taken