England Cricket Team has raised questions on the strength of the bio-security bubble in Cape Town after one South African player returning positive for the Covid test due to a breach in protocol led to the first ODI of the three-match series being called-off, an hour before the scheduled start of play.
The first One-day International has now been pushed back till Sunday but the future of rubber now hangs on the result of another round of tests that both teams and their support staff will undergo on Saturday.
Should another player or member of the support staff of respective teams return positive for the deadly contagion, the ODI series could well be called-off.
“England have expressed a concern and questioned the confidence they have in the bio-secure environment and rightfully so if there is a player who has tested positive having contracted the virus in the last week. We respect that concern,” Shuaib Manjra, South African team doctor, said in a video released on Friday.
Manjura admitted that there was a clear breach in covid protocols and even though they have investigated extensively, CSA is yet to find out the source of the virus.
“Clearly there has been some sort of breach, which we have investigated extensively to determine where this happened. We have spoken to the player, looked at security cameras and other information, and we have not been able to date to identify where that source was. But clearly it is cause for concern.”
He, however, denied that any player left the team hotel without prior approval.
“I can categorically state that no player is able to leave the hotel environment. The security will not allow the player to leave, unless he is doing so in an assigned, official vehicle.” he added.
Meanwhile, Ashley Giles, the Managing director of the England Men’s team, acknowledged the need for retesting the players.
He, however, did not comment on the potential bio-security beach.
“On behalf of the England touring party and the ECB, I would like to thank Cricket South Africa for their collaborative approach to postponing today’s One-Day International,” Giles said in a press release.
“Our number one priority is the health and safety of the England team and management group, and the correct decision was made following discussions between the two Boards and respective medical teams.” he added.