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South Africa’s first ODI against England moved to Sunday after positive test

Cricket South Africa (CSA) said the latest round of tests conducted on Thursday resulted in an unnamed South African player returning a positive result before the first ODI against England.

By: Reuters | Updated: December 4, 2020 4:55:02 pm
Two South Africa players tested positive ahead of the T20I series that was won 3-0 by England. (AP)

The first ODI between South Africa and England that was scheduled for Newlands on Friday has been moved to Sunday after a player from the home team tested positive for COVID-19.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) said the latest round of tests conducted on Thursday resulted in an unnamed South African player returning a positive result, the third from within the camp during the six-match limited-overs series.

The teams had travelled to the stadium to prepare for the game but it was officially called off an hour before the start.

The player in question is set to be isolated from the group and a round of fresh tests likely conducted ahead of what is now the series opener in Paarl on Sunday.

“This decision results from a player from the Proteas team testing positive for COVID-19 after the teams’ last round of scheduled testing performed on Thursday ahead of the ODIs,” CSA said in a statement.

“In the interests of the safety and well-being of both teams, match officials and all involved in the match, the Acting CEO of CSA, Kugandrie Govender as well as the CEO of the ECB, Tom Harrison, have agreed to postpone the first fixture.”

It means there will be back-to-back ODIs on Sunday and Monday in Paarl and Cape Town, before the series is completed at Newlands on Wednesday.

The decision places a spotlight on the South Africa camp and their protocols during a tour that will provide much-needed revenue for struggling CSA.

Two players tested positive ahead of the Twenty20 International series that started on November 27 and was won 3-0 by England.

Yet more worrying will be the positive case from within the secure hotel bio-bubble, where both teams have been based since November 17.

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