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England’s inaugural ODI with South Africa has been postponed after a home player tested positive for coronavirus.
The message was posted a little over an hour before the game started. Neither team showed up at Newlands to even begin warming up.
It is unclear who the South African player is, but both the teams and officials were tested on Thursday to ensure a clean health certificate before the ODI series began exactly as it did before the T20 series.
The first game in the ODI series will now take place on Sunday. A game will be played on Monday to end the series, which will end on Wednesday.
In a statement, Cricket South Africa said: « Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the England Cricket Board (ECB) would like to announce the postponement of the first Betway One-Day International (ODI) three-game series on Sunday, 06. December 2020.
« This decision results from a player on the Proteas team who tested positive for COVID-19 after the team’s last scheduled test round on Thursday before the ODIs.
« In the interests of the safety and wellbeing of both teams, match officers and everyone involved in the game, CSA’s acting CEO Kugandrie Govender and ECB CEO Tom Harrison have agreed to postpone the first game to Sunday. «
It is the third positive case in the Protea camp that previously had to isolate four players, which could explain the sudden unavailability of certain players during the T20 series.
The South African team has shared the same Vineyard Hotel as the English team, albeit in a different part of the site, and Eoin Morgan’s team is believed to have had other negative results.
Ashley Giles, UK Men’s Cricket General Manager, said: « On behalf of the England Touring Party and the ECB, I would like to thank Cricket South Africa for their collaborative approach in postponing today’s One-Day International.
« Our top priority is the health and safety of the English team and management group. The right decision was made after discussions between the two boards and the respective medical teams.
« The English party will be staying at their base in Cape Town on Friday and Saturday and we hope the three-game series will be played before we leave next Thursday from the Paarl game on Sunday. «
Cases of Covid 19 have increased in Cape Town and there is debate over a second lockdown to get things under control.
The Covid break in a supposedly bio-safe bubble will be of great concern to both teams who have confined themselves to either their hotel, the premises or a nearby golf course.
Before the T20 series, Dr. Shuaib Manjra, CSA’s chief medical officer, asked what would happen if further positive results were achieved. He said, “I think the short answer to your question is that there probably won’t be a game.
« If people test positive, a large group of people test positive, we wouldn’t have a fair opportunity to bladder people, and that’s the worst case scenario.
« We don’t want to consider that, but when it happens we have to look at how it comes about. «
It has now happened and the game has been postponed. Once it is clear which other players and officials were in close contact with the positive case, there may be more work to be done as soon as it arises.
Monday, 7. December 2020 – 2. Betway ODI, Six Gun Grill Newlands, Cape Town (starting at 11am in the UK)
Wednesday 9. December 2020 – 3. Betway ODI, Six Gun Grill Newlands, Cape Town (starting at 11am in the UK)
South African national cricket team, English cricket team, One Day International, Cricket, Twenty20, Eoin Morgan
EbeneMagazine – GB – England versus South Africa postponed after players tested positive for coronavirus were