The plans of England in Sri Lanka for their two-Test series were rocked by the news that Moeen Ali tested positive for Covid-19 and must be isolated for 10 days now.
In a test that took place when the team arrived at Hambantota airport on Sunday, Moeen, who returned to the Test squad after a year-long absence and played a pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s 3-0 win in 2018, contracted the virus.
It was also reported in a statement released by the Cricket Board of England and Wales on Monday, 10 days before the start of the first test in Galle, that Chris Woakes was listed as close contact and would also have to be isolated for seven days before further tests are conducted to enable his release.
It said, “The England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that Moeen Ali has tested positive for Covid-19 following PCR tests conducted upon arrival at Hambantota Airport on Sunday, January 3.”
“[Moeen] will now comply with a 10-day self-isolation period in compliance with the Sri Lanka government’s quarantine protocol.
A potential near touch is deemed to be Chris Woakes and will undergo self-isolation and further examination.
On Tuesday morning, the tour group will test the PCR for a second time.
At that time, on Wednesday, the team will practice for the first time.
On Jan. 13, Moeen will be able to quit isolation, but with no training available before then, which essentially rules him out for the first test, which starts the next day. Now it is predicted that the 33-year-old will fly to Galle early and stay in accommodation other than the specified team hotel.
After their arrival on Sunday, the entire England squad has been segregated in their rooms and will undergo additional tests on Tuesday.
If the findings are inoffensive, they will be permitted to leave their rooms in the afternoon, with the first training session postponed until Wednesday.
The players travelled to Hambantota on a charter flight from the United Kingdom after completing tests last week, but according to a spokesperson, they were physically distanced on the plane. After driving to Heathrow Airport in the same car as Moeen, Woakes was considered very similar.