The Sri Lankan team’s problems are getting from bad to worse. The authorities have reportedly shifted their players from Hotel Taj to Cinnamon due to COVID-19 scare. Indian players, meanwhile, will continue to stay at the Taj as their bio-bubble is yet to be breached.
The upcoming limited-overs series between India and Sri Lanka has been rescheduled after the hosts’ batting coach Grant Flower and a member of the backroom staff tested positive for COVD-19. The first ODI was supposed to be played on the 13th of July, but it will now likely take place on 17th or 18th of July.
But player selection remains a significant headache for the decision-makers. With the Sri Lankan contingent’s second PCR test due tomorrow, the availability of players will depend on the results of the tests.
The Sri Lankan cricket board, however, is ready with a backup plan if there are further positive cases found inside the Sri Lankan contingent in Colombo. If the need arises, the board will select players from a group of 24 cricketers who are currently camped in Dambulla.
Sri Lankan batting coach refuses to take vaccine after testing positive
Former Zimbabwe batsman and Sri Lanka’s batting coach Grant Flower is currently battling with COVID-19. The 50-year-old refused to take the Sputnik vaccine that was being offered by the authorities. Flower insisted on taking the Pfizer vaccine. Medical experts are still trying to convince him to take whichever vaccine is available.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) secretary Mohan de Silva revealed to the Daily Mirror that Flower is reluctant to take Sputnik and other vaccines because he fears he won’t be able to travel to Zimbabwe if he isn’t administered a recommended vaccine like the Pfizer.
Sri Lanka are coming into the series on the back of morale deflating losses against England, where they were no match for Eoin Morgan and his men across the T20I and ODI series.
With player availability becoming an issue, it remains to be seen whether Sri Lanka can overcome their problems and challenge India in the upcoming limited-overs series.