South Africa vs England: Round party re-tests two ‘positive unconfirmed’ Covid

Paarl was due to host the re-arranged opener with Cape Town in the last two matches

Two unidentified members at the England tour party in South Africa returned “unconfirmed positive tests” for the Coronavirus.

The tourists were tested on Saturday after two employees of their hotel were tested positive.

The re-arranged opening was a one-day Sunday in Paarl canceled 30 minutes before the start at 08:00 GMT.

England players and staff isolate themselves in their hotel rooms.

The opening match of the hat-trick on Friday was postponed after a South African player tested positive for the coronavirus.

The South African team tested again on Friday evening and everyone came back negative.

A decision on the last two games of the series – scheduled to take place in Cape Town on Monday and Wednesday – will be made once the England test results are validated by independent medical experts. It is unlikely that this will come before Monday.

The matches can take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. England fly home on Thursday.

Ashley Giles, director of men’s cricket in England, said that “the well-being of players and support staff is our primary concern” and that the series’ opening game “should not happen” while awaiting additional test results.

“We deeply regret the situation in which we find ourselves after the amount of time and effort that has been devoted to hosting a successful tour,” said South African cricket director Graeme Smith.

The series is played in a bio-safe “bubble”, with players leaving their hotel in Cape Town only to play and train.

Ahead of last month’s Twenty20 series – which England won 3-0 – two South African players tested positive for the Coronavirus and other players were placed in isolation.

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The series is England’s first overseas since their trip to Sri Lanka was abandoned in March after the outbreak.

After the start of the summer at home was postponed, England completed all of its planned matches, and the matches were played in a biologically safe environment and without fans in the stadiums.

Fast-paced shooter Guofra Archer had to miss a second Test against the West Indies after returning home between tests, but no fixtures were affected.

“It is now very dangerous,” – analysis

BBC Cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew

Roving team members don’t necessarily mean players – it could mean either coaching staff or back staff.

It is really very dangerous now. It depends on who the people are, and how much contact they get with everyone else, but you can imagine that if you were in a biologically safe bubble, you would live closely together. It doesn’t seem likely that people, regardless of who they are, will not have much contact with the players. If there is Covid-19 in the England camp now, what do they do?

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