England's tour of South AfricaCALLED OFF

England’s tour of South Africa CALLED OFF on medical grounds after rescheduled first ODI was cancelled due to positive Covid cases in England camp after two staff tested positive in team hotel

  • England’s tour of South Africa has been abandoned after a Covid-19 outbreak
  • It comes after three failed attempts to get the ODI series up and running
  • Sunday’s rescheduled first one-day international was cancelled 

England’s tour of South Africa was dramatically called off on Monday because of the outbreak of Covid-19 within both teams and staff at their Vineyard Hotel base.

What looked like an inevitable outcome once the first of three scheduled one-day internationals was postponed twice on Friday and Sunday as concerns grew around the virus, was confirmed as England prepared to head for home.

England won the Twenty20 series 3-0 and had high hopes of a similar outcome in the 50-over matches until a South African player tested positive on Friday, forcing the postponement of the first match at Newlands. 

England’s limited-overs tour of South Africa has been called off on medical grounds

Then the situation deteriorated over the weekend when two members of the hotel staff, one of whom had close contact with the England team, posted positive and then two members of the England party joined them even though their positive results are yet to be confirmed. 

That led to Sunday’s proposed match in Paarl also being called off.

Crisis talks between the two boards, led by England team director Ashley Giles, led to the outcome and the second consecutive England tour abandoned because of the virus following the sudden halt to the Sri Lanka trip when Covid took hold in March.

‘Cricket South Africa and the ECB have agreed to postpone the remaining matches in the current men’s ODI series,’ read a statement. ‘The decision was taken jointly by the two boards to ensure the mental and physical health and welfare of players from both teams.

 England’s rescheduled ODI series opener against South Africa was abandoned on Sunday

Two members of staff at the Vineyard Hotel, where both teams are based, have tested positive

The scene at Boland Park in Paarl following news of the first ODI’s abandonment on Sunday

‘The CSA and ECB will now work together to determine when the three-match series, which forms part of the ICC Cricket Men’s Super League, can take place in the future.’

Now England’s attention will turn to whether their proposed two-Test tour of Sri Lanka next month can now take place as it has yet to be officially confirmed.

The spectacular bursting of the South African bio-secure bubble shows the fragility of staging international cricket in the Covid world and Sri Lanka are expected to put even more stringent conditions in place before the games can take place.

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