Updated: July 10, 2021 3:38:51 pm
The covid-hit limited-overs series between India and Sri Lanka will start on July 18. The Indian Express understands that the BCCI secretary Jay Shah requested his counterparts in Sri Lanka to start the tour on the 18th after the Sri Lankan players complete seven days of quarantine.
The BCCI has also asked SLC to keep their back-up team ready in case there too many cases in the main Sri Lankan squad. The BCCI also requested the Sri Lankan board (SLC) to move Sri Lanka’s team to another hotel to ensure the safety of the bio bubble.
“The series will start from July 18 instead of the 13th The remaining two ODI’S will be played on July 20 and July 22,” a top BCCI official confirmed.
India, led by Shikhar Dhawan, will play three ODIs and three T20Is and the first match was originally scheduled on July 13. However, Sri Lanka’s batting coach Grant Flower tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, three days after the squad returned from England.
On Friday, Sri Lanka’s data analyst GT Niroshan too tested positive and was moved to intermediate care units alongside Flower. It is learnt that the second case in two days prompted SLC to push back the India series by four days in consultation with BCCI and the broadcasters. As for the Sri Lankan squad, they will remain in isolation for two more days and will enter the bio-bubble subsequent to fresh RT-PCR tests.
The news of fresh positive tests came on the heels of three Sri Lankan players breaching the team bio-bubble in Durham during the England tour. The SLC suspended Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka for the breach.
The Covid outbreak in the Sri Lankan camp follows the virus badly affecting the England team ahead of their ongoing home series against Pakistan. With seven individuals – including players and support staff – testing positive on Tuesday and the entire team going into isolation, England and Wales Cricket Board named an entirely new squad, led by Ben Stokes, for the three-match ODI series.
Meanwhile, SLC has informed that the Lanka Premier League 2021, which was expected to commence on July 29, will now be played from November 19 to December 12.