South Africa vs England ODI postponed due to positive Covid-19 test


England’s opening One-Day International against South Africa has been postponed just an hour before the start of play after a Covid-19 test returned positive.

A member of the South African side returned a positive coronavirus result following the latest round of testing on Thursday, and Cricket South Africa confirmed that “in the interests of safety” the opening fixture at Newlands will be moved to Sunday to allow further testing to take place.

A Cricket South Africa statement read: “Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the England Cricket Board (ECB) would like to announce the postponement of the first Betway One-Day International (ODI) of the three-match series to Sunday, 6 December 2020.

“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.

“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 to Sunday.”

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Sunday’s opening ODI will take place at Paarl’s Boland Park instead of Cape Town’s Newlands Stadium, which will now host the second and third contests next week.

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News of the postponement first began to circulate around Newlands when the England team was sent back to their hotel in close proximity to the Cape Town ground. It quickly became apparent that their absence meant that the match had been thrown into doubt, and the decision to get the players away from the stadium helped to minimise the risk of exposure to Covid-19.

It is the latest setback for a South African side that has already had to deal with coronavirus-based issues. Their build-up to the T20 series against England last month was disrupted by a number of positive Covid-19 tests, which resulted in an intra-squad training match being cancelled.

England’s latest round of coronavirus testing returned all negative results ahead of Friday’s opening ODI.

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