Sri Lanka-India international postponed over COVID-19 case


COLOMBO – Sri Lanka on Tuesday (27) postponed the second Twenty20 international against India just hours before its start, after an Indian player tested positive for coronavirus.

All-rounder Krunal Pandya was found positive during a routine check, Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement.

“The medical teams have identified eight members as close contacts,” the board said.

“The entire contingent is undergoing RT-PCR tests today to ascertain any further outbreak in the squad.”

It is the second time in less than a week that an international has been called off at the last minute because of COVID-19.

A one-day international last Thursday (22) between West Indies and Australia was called off after the two captains had carried out the toss because a ground staff member tested positive.

No details were given on how Pandya, 30, could have contracted the virus. India arrived in Sri Lanka on June 28 and have been in a strict bio-bubble in a luxury Colombo hotel since then. No other guests have been allowed in the hotel.

India confirmed that Pandya had tested positive and that the entire squad was undergoing more tests.

Both teams said they hoped the game would be played Wednesday (28) in Colombo, with the final match still scheduled for Thursday (29). India won the first match by 38 runs.

The series had already been pushed back by five days after an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Sri Lankan camp.

All the matches are being held at the Premadasa stadium, without any spectators because of health regulations imposed as Sri Lanka battles a surge in pandemic cases.

Reporters and photographers were barred from the first T20 on Sunday (25) after a Sri Lanka board employee who was at the press box tested positive.

The media had already undergone tests to gain entry for Tuesday’s game when it was called off less than four hours before the start.

Sri Lanka’s batting coach Grant Flower and a member of support staff tested positive this month, forcing a longer isolation period for Sri Lankan players.

Three Sri Lankan players, who were excluded from the India series, are under investigation for leaving their secure bio-bubble hotel whilst on an England tour last month to go on a night out.

Sri Lanka eased some lockdown restrictions this month despite warnings that the more transmissible Delta variant was spreading on the island.

Official figures say more than 4,140 people have died from coronavirus in the nation of 21 million people, but doctors say the true figure is much higher.

-Agence France-Presse


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