Sri Lankan players return Covid-19 negative in first round testing, unlikely to get a net session

Sri Lankan players currently in quarantine are unlikely to get even a single net session ahead of the ODI series against India starting Tuesday (July 13). But they also got a shot in the arm after all of them reported negative in the first round of Covid-19 tests.

The Sri Lankan players and support staff returned from the UK on July 6 and are currently serving a mandatory seven-day quarantine. They will only come out of isolation on July 12 with the first ODI scheduled for the very next day at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

“We can’t help the situation. These are the kind of times we are living in, team will have to follow all health protocols are directed by the authorities. Yes it is correct the players who will be selected from the squad who were in England are unlikely to get net session before first game against India. The good part is none of them have tested positive in the first test,” Pramodya Wickramasinghe, chief selector at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), told Insidesport.

While Sri Lanka have their preparations dampened, they would be relieved the deadly virus hasn’t spread in their bio-secure bubble, especially after batting coach Grant Flower tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday (July 8).

However, the Sri Lankan squad has come through the toughest phase of quarantine – the first three days when they had to stay cooped up in their rooms. They will have access to the gym and pool of the Taj Samudra hotel today onwards.

The Indian team, on the other hand, has started their preparatory camp this week and has already played two intra-squad matches.

SLC secretary Mohan de Silva confirmed outdoor activities won’t be permissible until the end of quarantine next Monday. He further revealed that the squad for the three ODIs and as many T20Is will be announced on Friday evening.

“They can only train in the hotel as it has facilities, which can be of some help. Outdoor activity would only be possible after completion of quarantine. We will name the team soon, we are observing the situation and will decide by end of the day on Friday” de Silva added.

The entire series found itself in a fix after seven members – three players and four support staff – of the England team tested Covid-19 positive at the start of the week with whom the Sri Lankan cohort had shared common space during the course of their 0-5 thrashing.

The problems compounded with the positive result of Flower, but as things stand, India and Sri Lanka will take the field as scheduled.

Full squad and schedule for India tour of Sri Lanka 2021 (Timings in IST)

1st ODI: July 13 – R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo – 2:30 PM

2nd ODI: July 16 – R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo – 2:30 PM

3rd ODI: July 18 – R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo – 2:30 PM

1st T20I: July 21 – R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo – 7:00 PM

2nd ODI: July 23 – R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo – 7:00 PM

3rd T20I: July 13 – R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo – 7:00 PM

India squad: Shikhar Dhawan (Captain), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (Wicketkeeper), Sanju Samson (Wicketkeeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Vice-captain), Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya

Net Bowlers: Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, Sai Kishore, Simarjeet Singh

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