England’s ODI Tour of South Africa Cancelled

Players test positive for COVID-19

Newlands cricket ground in Cape Town

The ODI series between England and South Africa has been cancelled on medical grounds after an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

The first one-day international in Cape Town last Friday had to be postponed after a member of the South Africa squad tested positive.

That clash was moved to Paarl on Sunday but then also had to be called off after hotel staff looking after both squads tested positive. Some England players also returned “unconfirmed positive tests”, according to reports.
Finally, Monday's scheduled  ODI in Cape Town was postponed with the ECB and Cricket South Africa both awaiting ratification of the two unconfirmed positive Covid tests in the England camp.
It had been hoped that matches could be played on Tuesday and Wednesday in Cape Town before England fly home. However, that will not be the case after the decision was made to cancel the series.
The ECB and CSA have said they will work to reschedule the ODIs, which form part of the International Cricket Council Super League.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: “We have always maintained that the welfare of our players and management is paramount.

“We were concerned about the potential impact that recent developments might have on the wellbeing of the touring party, and so after consultation with Cricket South Africa, we have jointly made the decision to postpone the remaining matches in this series, in the best interest of the players' welfare.”

England Deny Net Practice Was to Blame

There had been suggestions that England's use of nets at Newlands played a role in spreading the virus, which the tourists have strongly denied.

They released a separate statement rejecting that suggestion, saying the decision to practice in the nets was due to other facilities not being up to scratch.

The nets are next to a building site at the Kelvin Road End of the ground but were not originally allocated for use during the trip.

“On arrival at Newlands on 3 December, we advised the venue the three nets provided on the main pitch were not of a standard for conducive practice,” read an England statement.

“We requested with Cricket South Africa we would like to use the practice nets and that we would create a security cordon to ensure the players and coaches could enter the facility safely, as done previously on 28 November.

“This was confirmed by England's security team, the team operations manager and the team doctor. We were satisfied with this outcome and we were able to practise in the net facility safely.”

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