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South Africa’s first ODI against England called off after COVID-19 positive tests

Sunday's match in Paarl was abandoned 30 minutes before the scheduled start. The status of games due to be played on Monday and Wednesday now in doubt.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: December 6, 2020 2:47:37 pm
Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town, South Africa - December 4, 2020 General view of empty seats inside the stadium before the match. (Reuters)

Sunday’s ODI between South Africa and England was abandoned in light of some fresh Covid-19 cases at the team hotel where the players were staying.

Sunday’s match in Paarl was abandoned 30 minutes before the scheduled start. The England squad were tested on Saturday after the positive tests of the hotel staff, and the ODI was firstly delayed as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said it is awaiting “ratification” of those results.

The cancellation was confirmed shortly after, with the status of games due to be played on Monday and Wednesday now in doubt.

England are scheduled to fly home on Thursday.

“The England players and management underwent an additional round of PCR tests on Saturday evening, after two members of the hotel staff testing positive for COVID-19,” said an ECB statement.

“Whilst the ECB awaits ratification of those test results the decision has been taken to delay the start of today’s ODI match,” it added.

It is another blow for the tour, which is providing much-needed revenue for embattled CSA, who have already had to cut short a money-spinning visit to India, and missed out on trips to Sri Lanka and the West Indies due to the coronavirus.

South Africa and England completed a three-match Twenty20 International series this week that was won 3-0 by the visitors, and are due to play three more ODIs, the last on Wednesday.

The first of those was due to start on Friday but was postponed after an unnamed South Africa player tested positive in the bio-secure environment.

That meant a fresh round of tests that were conducted on Friday night, with the South Africa team given a clean bill of health.

The home side also had two positive cases in the build-up to the six-match white-ball series. Those players were isolated and did not take part in the T20 matches.

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