Paarl, December 6
The rescheduled first ODI of the three-match series between South Africa and England to be played at the Boland Park on Sunday was cancelled after two members of the touring England returned “unconfirmed positive tests” for coronavirus.
The start of the match was earlier delayed as England players and management underwent an additional round of PCR tests on Saturday evening after two members of the hotel staff tested positive for Covid-19.
“Following the test results, two members of the England touring party have returned unconfirmed positive tests for Covid-19. The players and management are now self-isolating in their rooms until further advice from the medical teams,” Cricket South Africa and the England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement.
“The medical advice from both CSA and ECB is that the match cannot not take place,” it added.
Ashley Giles, Managing Director, England Men’s Cricket, said: “We regret that we are unable to play in today’s ODI, but the welfare of the players and support staff is our primary concern and whilst we await the results of further tests the medical advice from both teams was that this game should not take place.
“We remain in constant dialogue with Cricket South Africa and will continue to work closely with them to determine how best to move forward.” The status of games due to be played on Monday and Wednesday is also now in doubt, the decision on which will be made once “the results of the tests are ratified independently by medical experts”.
CSA Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith said: “CSA is doing everything in our power to ensure that our top priority, which is the health, safety and welfare of players, support staff and all involved in this series is safeguarded. With that in mind, we have made the joint decision to cancel today’s match.
“We are deeply regretful of the situation we find ourselves in after the amount of time and energy that has been put in place to host a successful tour. We are in continuous talks with the ECB as we navigate the situation under the guidance of our combined medical teams,” he added.
The three-match series was earlier scheduled to begin on November 4 at Newlands. The game was postponed after a Proteas player tested positive on Thursday. South Africa re-tested their players on Friday and all returned negative results.
Before the T20I series last month — which England won 3-0 — two South Africa players tested positive for coronavirus and two others were placed in isolation. — IANS