South Africa’s 10 players out of the 16-member squad for the Sri Lanka series have tested positive for the coronavirus. They came in contact with the virus during the first-class matches this week.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has now announced that the domestic matches would be halted until next month as South Africa has officially entered the second wave of coronavirus.
Five squad members were in a match between the Dolphins and Titans which was abandoned after one day on Monday when a Dolphins player tested positive.
Another five squad members of Test played in a match between the Eagles and Lions which was completed on Wednesday despite a Lions player testing positive on the third day of the game.
South Africa’s home Test series against Sri Lanka, which starts in Centurion on December 26, is due to go ahead as planned but all members of the squad will need to be tested before entering a bio-secure bubble.
South African players on Saturday will be tested before entering bio-bubble:
Victor Mpitsang, convener of selectors, said the Test squad was due to assemble on Saturday.
“All the players will be tested before going into the bubble,” he said.
CSA Director of cricket Graeme Smith said the decision to postpone the domestic matches was taken in the interest of the health of players, support staff and stadium workers.
“CSA is committed to mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on the 2020/21 season, with the upcoming two-match Test series between South Africa and Sri Lanka being played in a bio-secure environment, which is a more controlled space than the domestic competition,” said Smith.
Meanwhile, three-day practice matches were due to start on Sunday between South Africa XI and Sri Lanka. However, the domestic cricketers will be given an extended break until the start of a domestic one-day competition, which is due to start on January 8.