09 Jul 2021: After batting coach, SL team's data analyst tests COVID-19 positive
The data analyst of Sri Lanka cricket team, GT Niroshan, has tested positive for COVID-19. This is the second such case in the Lankan camp after batting coach Grant Flower tested positive for the deadly virus on Thursday. The duo contracted the virus days ahead of SL's limited-overs series against India, starting July 13. Here are further details.
Statement: A look at the official statement
"The Data Analyst of the Sri Lanka National Team, GT Niroshan, has tested positive for COVID-19," read a media release from Sri Lanka Cricket. "He was found to be positive, following a PCR Test carried out among the National Players, Coaches, and Support Staff yesterday, following the identification of Grant Flower as COVID-19 Positive. Niroshan is now undergoing due medical protocols."
Flower: Flower tested positive three days after returning from England
SL batting coach Grant Flower tested positive for COVID-19 three days after the squad returned from their tour of England. Despite this, Sri Lanka's medical staff believed the series against India will not be impacted. As per them, Flower contracted the virus in England. It is understood that Flower hadn't been in close contact with other squad members over the last few days.
Fact: Niroshan, Flower have tested positive for the Delta variant
It has been learned that both Niroshan and Flower have tested positive for the Delta variant of the virus, which is particularly contagious. As a result, the whole squad will now spend at least two more days in isolation, and face another PCR test.
Disruptions: Sri Lanka cricket continues to deal with several issues
The news of Flower and Niroshan's positive tests add to the disruptions within the SL team over the past two weeks. Recently, the likes of Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka and Niroshan Dickwella were suspended for breaching the bio-bubble in England. SLC and players were also involved in an obnoxious standoff related to national contracts. Moreover, the team saw a change of limited-overs captains.
Series: The three-match ODI series will begin on July 13
Sri Lanka are scheduled to host India for three ODIs and as many T20Is. The three ODIs will be held on July 13, 16, and 18 at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. Meanwhile, the same venue will host the three T20Is. The results of next next PCR test will determine whether the main squad can compete in the series against India.
Plan : Sri Lanka Cricket has a contingency plan
As per a report in ESPNcricinfo, Sri Lanka Cricket has a contingency plan in place. They have two other groups of players in bio-bubbles, in Colombo and Dambulla, respectively. One of them could potentially step up to play the series against the second-string Indian side. The visitors have already started preparing for the white-ball series. They also played an intra-squad match recently.
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