Second Proteas player tests positive for coronavirus
JOHANNESBURG - A second member of the South African team, that is preparing to face England in two limited overs series’s in Cape Town, tested positive for the coronavirus, the team’s management said on Friday.
The player was isolated from the rest of the extended playing group and moved to separate accommodation immediately, according to a statement by Cricket SA.
The positive test was part of a second mandatory round of testing that took place on Thursday. The first round of testing, done when the players entered the ‘bio-secure bubble’ at The Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town, also showed a positive test for another player. Two other players, who’d had contact with that teammate were also instructed to isolate from the squad.
The Proteas’ media manager said the second positive test was “unrelated,” to the player who tested positive earlier in the week.
“Team management and Cricket South Africa (CSA) are in close communication with their counterparts from the England Cricket Board (ECB) to ensure full transparency and the most responsible plan of action going forward,” CSA said in a statement.
The England team which is staying in the same hotel as the South Africans, but in a separate part of the facility, were still all clear. “All Covid-19 tests administered from the England camp earlier this week all returned negative results. Our plans continue and the team are preparing to play our first intra -squad warm-up match as normal at Newlands tomorrow,” said a spokesperson for the England Cricket Board.
South Africa cancelled its planned intra-squad match at Newlands, with Marco Marais and Stefan Tait, who were due to join the squad for that game, now no longer going to do so.
Cricket SA said it would not be releasing the players’ names because of doctor/patient confidentiality and that an update regarding the series may be provided at a later stage.
The Proteas’ head coach, Mark Boucher, confirmed earlier this week that he had contracted the coronavirus earlier this year and stressed that it is important to support players who do test positive.
“There’s a bigger picture, we are just happy to be back playing cricket, we’ve made ourselves prepare for this type of situation (when players need to be isolated), it does affect us, but it is about the welfare of those players. It is a very tough thing to go through. I went through it, the care factor needs to be there for those guys sitting alone in rooms for 10 days, which is quite tough.”
South Africa and England are due to face each other in a three match T20 International series starting at Newlands next Friday. That series will be followed by a three match One-Day International series.
*Meanwhile the ICC confirmed that the Women’s T20 World Cup, which South Africa will host, has been postponed until February 2023. The tournament was supposed to take place in the latter part of 2022, so as not to clog up the schedule that year which includes the 50-over World Cup, originally scheduled for 2021, but moved to 2022 because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Commonwealth Games, which will feature a women’s T20 competition.