Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced that two players have been tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This news broke ahead of their home Test series against Sri Lanka. Due to security and privacy reasons, names of both the players have been kept undisclosed. Both the players have been dropped from the Test squad to face Sri Lanka.
After some rumours of the Sri Lanka team pulling out of the tour to South Africa – England pulled out of the three-match ODI series as COVID-19 cases emerged in their camp and in their hotel, which were then reported to be false positives – they have finally arrived in the country.
The Sri Lankan team will begin their tour with a practice match. The 2-match Test series will commence on 26th December in Centurion followed by a Johannesburg. The players will be tested again on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday
“The players will no longer form part of the Test team and will observe the Covid-19 protocols, including isolating with immediate effect. CSA can also confirm that no other players in the currently named squad were deemed close contacts after contact tracing procedures were conducted,” Cricket South Africa said in a realease.
South Africa call in replacements; Kagiso Rabada is not fit yet
Moreover, Cricket South Africa have named three players as replacements: Batsman Raynard van Tonder, pacer Lutho Sipamla gets his maiden call up, and allrounder Dwaine Pretorius, who has recovered from a hamstring injury. The medical team has not given clearance to spearhead fast bowler, Kagiso Rabada.
Besides, Quinton de Kock has been named South Africa’s Test captain- the left-hander replaces Faf du Plessis at the helm. He was already the limited-overs skipper for the Proteas. South Africa are coming off a 3-0 loss to Eoin Morgan’s England in the T20I series. The upcoming Test series will be the first long-format match for both the teams since the resumption of cricket in the pandemic era.
On their previous tour to South Africa, Dimuth Karunaratne’s side whitewashed the hosts- becoming the first Asian team to do that. After the South Africa series, the Islanders will host Joe Root’s England for a couple of Tests.