Colombo: After the emergence of covid-19 were reported in the Sri Lankan team’s camp, the schedule of India’s six-match limited-overs series against the home team has been changed and now the first ODI will be on July 17 instead of July 13. In the case of more cases, the possibility of its cancellation was left open.
Sri Lanka batting coach Grant Flower and team performance analyst Shirantha Niroshana have both tested positive and the entire team, which arrived from England this week, has been put in isolation. Although the two boards are yet to make an official statement, it looks likely that all six matches would be played within a period of 10-11 days in case there are no more positive cases.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly told news agency ANI, “The India-Sri Lanka ODI series is likely to be postponed till July 17 due to the COVID19 cases in the Sri Lankan camp.” However, in the meantime, a senior official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed this and said, “Yes, the series will now start from July 17 instead of July 13. Keeping in mind the safety of the players, this decision has been taken only after negotiating with Sri Lanka Cricket. “
There are also concerns that if more positive cases emerge in the Sri Lanka camp, the series could even be canceled. That would mean that the Indian team, which has already spent 12 days in Sri Lanka, would have to return home without playing single a match.
A report in espncricinfo.com has put the tentative dates for the ODIs as July 17, 19, and 21. The report adds that the T20 Internationals will be played on July 24, 25, and 27. However, neither Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) nor the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were able to confirm IANS about the dates.
Earlier, SLC had issued a statement revealing the second positive case, of Niroshana, in its camp on Friday after the first one on Thursday. “He [Niroshana] was found to be positive, following a PCR test carried out among the national players, coaches, and support staff yesterday, following the identification of Grant Flower as Covid-19 positive,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a statement on Friday. It is unlikely that the Indian team will extend its stay beyond July 27.