England's first ODI today CALLED OFF after positive Covid-19 test

England’s first ODI today is CALLED OFF after a member of the South Africa squad tested positive for Covid-19, with the visitors forced to turn back having already left their Cape Town hotel for the short coach ride to Newlands

  • England’s first one-day international with South Africa has been called off
  • A member of the South Africa squad has returned a positive Covid-19 test
  • The visitors were already on their way to Newlands for the match
  • They were forced to turn back to their hotel when the news reached them
  • It is hoped the series can still proceed with the first game on Sunday 

England were rocked today by the postponement of the first one-day international when a member of the South African squad tested positive for Covid-19.

The first of three 50-over matches was meant to have taken place at Newlands but both squads, who have been staying at the same hotel, were re-tested after the end of the Twenty20 series and one unidentified member of the home squad tested positive.

It is not necessarily the end of the tour as Cricket South Africa instead now hope to stage the first game on Sunday with the other two matches on Monday and Wednesday.

England’s first one-day international with South Africa on Friday has been called off because of a positive Covid-19 test within the South African squad

England had already left their hotel to make their way to the Cape Town venue when the news broke and were forced to turn back

Sky Sports presenters (left to right) Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain and Ian Ward were preparing to go live on air as the news came through

But it is a huge blow in particular for the South Africans who stand to make £3million in broadcasting venue for staging six white-ball matches behind closed doors.

England had already left to make the short journey from the Vineyard Hotel to Newlands when the news came through and were forced to turn back round.

And now there will be a review of the safety procedures surrounding the bio-secure bubble being instigated here before Sunday’s game can go ahead.

The England players pictured during their net session at Newlands in Cape Town on Thursday

The short tour, the first of a busy winter for England, was originally placed in doubt just over a week ago when two members of the South African squad, believed to be David Miller and Andile Phelukwayo, tested positive and were placed isolation.

But they recovered and were cleared to play in today’s game before the postponement. And all the other members of both squads and their support groups returned negative test results ahead of the Twenty20 series won 3-0 by England.

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