India-Sri Lanka series hangs by a thread as BCCI, SLC anxiously wait for COVID reports of England-bound Sri Lanka cricketers

With only a week to go for the three-match ODI series between India and Sri Lanka, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) currently await the COVID test reports of the England-bound Sri Lanka cricketers.

The entire squad is currently in isolation after landing in Colombo on July 6 (Tuesday). News broke earlier on Tuesday that seven members of the England Cricket Team (three players and four staff) had tested positive for COVID-19.

All the members of the Sri Lankan team also underwent rapid antigen tests after which they were allowed to enter the hotel room. This was confirmed by the team’s head coach Mickey Arthur.

“We arrived here [in Colombo] and we haven’t been allowed to enter our rooms without the result of a rapid antigen test, which luckily, I think most of our squad have got through. We’ve done another PCR where the results come out tomorrow (Wednesday).”

“At the end of that ODI there was a fair amount of banter between the two teams – quite a lot of chat and quite a lot of talk – so it did bring about some anxious times,” Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur told ESPNCricinfo.

The SLC is also keen to make the bio-bubble stricter to avoid any unforeseen incidents before the first ODI against India. The cricketers will undergo another round of testing before they can begin training for the India series.

“The players will undergo an appropriate quarantine period allocated by the Ministry of Health and frequent PCR tests before they begin training (for the India series),” one of the team doctors told Daily Mirror Sri Lanka.

BCCI keeping a close watch on the situation in Sri Lanka

Although the Indian cricketers have begun their training in Sri Lanka, the BCCI is closely monitoring the situation in Sri Lanka in the wake of seven members of the England squad contracting the deadly virus.

Speaking to InsideSport, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal confirmed that the team management has been asked to stay extra cautious about the prevailing situation.

“Yes, we are aware of the situation. But our message to the team is the same as it was before. Before their departure, we asked them to take extra precautions regarding COVID. The team in Sri Lanka is following all the necessary protocols. But we are obviously monitoring the situation regarding the England team incident. If there is any development in the Sri Lanka team that went to the UK, we will take a call accordingly,” the BCCI treasurer said.

The first ODI between India and Sri Lanka is scheduled to take place at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, starting July 13.


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