England’s tour of South Africa is in jeopardy as second member of the hosts’ 24-man squad tested positive for Covid-19. Not only, the Proteas called of their intra-squad practice match scheduled for today (21st Nov), but now even the series is on line due to the Covid-19 havoc in the South African camp.
According to reports in English media, Eoin Morgan’s team though staying in a separate bubble are on high alert due to Covid cases in the opponent’s team. According to a report by Daily Mirror, England could fly home before the first of six white-ball internationals next Friday if Covid tests next week produce more positive results.
Morgan and his team is currently staying in the same Vineyard hotel in Cape Town where Covid-19 hit South African team is put up. Though Cricket South Africa has moved the unnamed affected players to ‘separate, appropriate accommodation’, England team is in little panic at this stage. The entire England team has returned negative after being tested on their arrival in Cape Town.
As South African team has cancelled their practice match, in all likelihood England team will still go ahead with their practice game scheduled for Saturday. Both teams will be tested on Thursday, the day before the first T20 international, while the South Africans in self-isolation will be tested two days earlier.
Any more positive cases can jeopardize the tour according to reports.
England tour of South Africa : Series extremely critical for cash-strapped Cricket South Africa
Cash-strapped CSA are desperate for the tour to succeed as amid administrative turmoil, CSA is also struggling badly with the finances. The series is set to bring in much needed financial relief for CSA. The South African board is set to earn $4.5 to $5Mn just from television rights of the series.
Meanwhile CSA also has declared that they are constantly in touch with England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and keep them abreast with the situation. “Team management and Cricket South Africa (CSA) are in close communication with their counterparts from the England Cricket Board (ECB) to ensure full transparency and the most responsible plan of action going forward.”
The South African Board also said the positive result of the second player is “unrelated to the first one” and the player has been provided “separate, appropriate accommodation with immediate effect.”
“Cricket South Africa would like to reiterate that it will not release names of affected players because of doctor-patient confidentiality,” a statement said.
With the warm-up game scheduled on Saturday cancelled, Marco Marais and Stefan Tait who were called up to assist the team for the practice match will no longer be joining the squad.
The visitors will play their practice match in Newlands on Saturday. South Africa will host England for three T20Is and as many ODIs in the limited over series in what would be their first international assignment in eight months.
Also Read:England tour of South Africa : Proteas cricketer tests positive, 2 other in isolation