South Africa and England were all set to play against each other today but the match had to be abruptly posted. just an hour before the start of play after a Covid-19 test returned positive. A member of the South African side returned a positive coronavirus result following the latest round of testing on Thursday, and Cricket South Africa confirmed that “in the interests of safety” the opening fixture at Newlands will be moved to Sunday to allow further testing to take place. A Cricket South Africa statement read: “Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the England Cricket Board (ECB) would like to announce the postponement of the first Betway One-Day International (ODI) of the three-match series to Sunday, 6 December 2020.
This decision results from a player from the Proteas team testing positive for Covid-19 after the teams’ last round of scheduled testing performed on Thursday ahead of the ODIs.”
“In the interests of the safety and well-being of both teams, match officials and all involved in the match, the Acting CEO of CSA, Kugandrie Govender as well as the CEO of the ECB, Tom Harrison, have agreed to postpone the first fixture to Sunday.” Ashley Giles, managing director of England men’s cricket, issued a brief statement following the postponement declaring himself “hopeful” that the matches could be successfully staged. The teams had travelled to the stadium to prepare for the game but it was officially called off an hour before the start. The player in question is set to be isolated from the group and a round of fresh tests likely conducted ahead of what is now the series opener in Paarl on Sunday.
It means there will be back-to-back ODIs on Sunday and Monday in Paarl and Cape Town, before the series is completed at Newlands on Wednesday. The decision places a spotlight on the South Africa camp and their protocols during a tour that will provide much-needed revenue for struggling CSA.