In its biosafety arrangements for the forthcoming series against England, Sri Lanka has full trust. Whether Covid-19 was able to spread among the tourists during their trip from London last weekend is the main question now.
Moeen Ali is the only confirmed case in England after he tested positive on Sunday upon arrival. The asymptomatic all-rounder was transported from the team hotel in Hambantota to one in Galle on Tuesday to complete his 10-day isolation.
To ensure Moeen was relaxed in his new setting, Nick Peirce, the ECB’s medical director, traveled in a separate car. Due to his other work as a frontline NHS doctor, he himself was vaccinated before leaving.
On Tuesday evening, England awaited the results of a new round of tests to decide if there has been a spread or whether players would leave their rooms to start training, with Chris Woakes isolated for a span of seven days after sharing a cab with Moeen last Saturday from the West Midlands to Heathrow.
On Thursday, Joe Root’s side will undergo another round of tests and then play a two-day pre-season game before travelling to Galle on January 14 for the series opener.
Reports so far talk of an impressively austere atmosphere being in place.
Since the pandemic started, Sri Lanka has had 45,242 confirmed cases and 215 deaths, indicating a successful response by the country of 21 million people. In November and December, with a handful of promising cases found within teams, the country’s cricket board successfully hosted the inaugural Lanka Premier League.
Mickey Arthur, Sri Lanka’s head coach, said, “The Ministry of Health has done an excellent job in Sri Lanka, so I don’t think the upcoming series will be derailed,” “A nation with a large number of curfews and lockdowns has become ultra-cautious.
Cricket-wise, the LPL has been very good at getting the protocols right and this [tour]will continue unless there is a sudden spike in infections in the world.
In the English camp, more cases could be the only problem, I suppose.
Arthur spoke in Johannesburg after his injury-plagued side suffered a Week 10 defeat to South Africa to complete a 2-0 loss in the series, despite their captain Dimuth Karunaratne’s battling 10th Test hundred.
The tourists asked South Africa at the end of the three-day match if they could plan a few turns in the Wanderers’ nets in preparation for the England series before departing on Friday via chartered flight.
However, as the biosecure bubble on the ground stopped immediately after the match, the hosts were unable to help, meaning Sri Lanka’s players would have to wait until they pass home tests over the weekend before resuming training.