South Africa vs England: First ODI abandoned, tour in doubt after more Covid-19 positives

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Jonny Bairstow and England team-mates await news on their tour of South Africa after another match was abandoned.

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Jonny Bairstow and England team-mates await news on their tour of South Africa after another match was abandoned.

England’s cricket tour of South Africa is in serious doubt after the first one-day international was abandoned on Sunday when team hotel staff returned positive Covid-19 tests.

Officials called off the first ODI in Paarl just before the scheduled start time of 9pm (NZT), with neither team having travelled to the match venue.

The ODI series opener was originally scheduled for Cape Town on Friday but was postponed after a South Africa player returned a positive Covid test.

Sky Sports cricket presenters Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussein and Ian Ward discuss the postponement of the first ODI at Newlands on Friday.

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Sky Sports cricket presenters Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussein and Ian Ward discuss the postponement of the first ODI at Newlands on Friday.

Then on Saturday, two members of staff at the England hotel tested positive.

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* South Africa v England ODI postponed after player tests positive for Covid-19

A statement issued by both boards confirmed a delay on Sunday: “The England players and management underwent an additional round of tests on Saturday evening, after two members of the hotel staff testing positive for Covid-19,” it said.

“Whilst the ECB awaits ratification of those test results the decision has been taken to delay the start of today’s ODI match.”

It was abandoned soon afterwards as the status of the remaining ODIs on Monday and Wednesday were thrown into doubt.

Signs showing Covid restrictions in place at Newlands Cricket Ground.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Signs showing Covid restrictions in place at Newlands Cricket Ground.

The series is being played in a bio-secure ‘bubble’, with players only leaving their Cape Town hotel to play and train.

Before the Twenty20 series last month – which England won 3-0 – two South Africa players tested positive for Covid-19 and two others were placed in isolation.



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