South Africa vs England, 1st ODI, Cape City

England have expressed considerations over the integrity of the groups’ bio-secure bubble in South Africa after a optimistic check for Covid-19 from the hosts’ camp led to the primary ODI being postponed on Friday.

The match was called off an hour before the toss and has been rescheduled to Monday, with all gamers and lodge employees to be retested on Saturday. Nevertheless, South Africa have but to find out how certainly one of their gamers contracted the coronavirus and keep their confidence that the bio-secure setting works.

“There is a cause for concern and England has expressed a concern. England are questioning the confidence they have in the bio-secure environment and rightfully so,” Dr Shuaib Manjra, CSA’s chief medical officer, mentioned.

“If there has been a player who tested positive in the last week, they have cause for concern and we respect that concern. We met with the English medical team and we have planned out a way. We will retest all players and hotel staff tomorrow. We will await the results and determine a course of action and then on Tuesday before the final ODI we will retest the team again.”

ALSO READ: First ODI at Cape Town called off after Covid scare

South Africa’s gamers have up to now been examined 5 instances, 3 times earlier than the beginning of the T20I sequence which revealed two positive cases, and as soon as in between the T20Is and ODIs. Though CSA have declined to substantiate the names as a consequence of doctor-patient confidentiality, David Miller and Andile Phehlukwayo are broadly understood to be the primary two gamers in query.

The primary participant who examined optimistic didn’t enter the bio-bubble and remoted on his personal whereas the second was faraway from the bubble when he examined optimistic two days later. Each gamers examined detrimental on the fourth spherical of exams, simply earlier than the beginning of the T20 sequence final Friday, and rejoined the squad final Saturday. The third optimistic case was found every week later, from a check earlier than the beginning of the ODIs yesterday, and CSA are uncertain the way it took place.

“This test surprised us because we have confidence in the integrity of the bio-secure environment,” Manjra mentioned. “Further tests indicate that this is a more recent case that occurred within the bio-secure environment. So clearly there seems to be some kind of breach which we have investigated in great detail to try and determined where this happened.

“We now have traversed a few totally different areas, making an attempt to recount a number of the occasions: chatting with the participant, taking a look at safety cameras, taking a look at different data and we’ve not been in a position to date to establish the place the supply was however clearly it is trigger for concern.”

The situation is understood to have unsettled the England camp, who are due to leave South Africa on a chartered flight on December 10, with several members of the squad flying on to Australia to take part in the Big Bash. A scheduled joint press conference between ECB and CSA was cancelled soon after the match had been called off, with Ashley Giles, the team director, later addressing the situation in a statement.

“On behalf of the England touring occasion and the ECB, I want to thank Cricket South Africa for his or her collaborative method to suspending at present’s One-Day Worldwide,” Giles said.

“Our primary precedence is the well being and security of the England crew and administration group, and the proper choice was made following discussions between the 2 Boards and respective medical groups.

“The England party will remain at its base in Cape Town on Friday and Saturday, and we are hopeful that the three-match series will be played before we depart next Thursday starting with the match at Paarl on Sunday.”

In conceding {that a} participant {may} have breached protocols, Manjra was adamant that no-one was allowed to depart the crew lodge in Cape City unsupervised.

“I can categorically state that there is no player who is able to leave the hotel environment by virtue of the fact that there is security around and the security will not allow the player to leave, unless that player is leaving in an assigned vehicle which is an official vehicle with an official driver,” Manjra mentioned.

“There is a command centre here led by the Colonel from the Claremont Police Force and they strictly enforce the biobubble. They wouldn’t allow anybody to leave.”

Nevertheless, earlier on within the tour, gamers did go away for what seem legitimate causes. “In fact some players left as a group to go across to the Oval (across the road from the hotel) to train and that became a matter of concern because they had seen it and we had addressed that concern with the Colonel and the command centre. It is impossible for any player or official to leave this.”

That revelation offers credence to Manjra’s suggestion that the bubble is just not working as supposed. “I am fairly convinced that 99% of the time this environment is working,” he mentioned. “There may be a breach that is unbeknown to us. I am not saying there is zero risk. There may be a slight risk. There are a lot of moving parts in a tour such as this and we are trying to control that.”

South Africa’s wouldn’t be the primary breach of protocols within the new regular. Final month, West Indies’ gamers have been barred from training throughout their interval of managed isolation in New Zealand after sharing meals and socialising in hallways, whereas Pakistan were put on a final warning that they’d be despatched again residence after a number of comparable incidents. Pakistan stay in isolation and haven’t been granted an exemption to coach.

That is South Africa’s first expertise internet hosting a bio-bubble and they’re due for 3 extra this summer time, with incoming excursions scheduled in opposition to Sri Lanka, Australia and Pakistan. It’s England’s first time in a bubble away from residence, having efficiently negotiated their residence summer time with a sequence of bio-secure environments.

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