11.35am The full story of the ODI cancellation is up on the site and there will be more to come, I'm sure. What's certain is that there won't be a game today... Tomorrow might be another story. Signing off for now. Cheerio, folks
10.50am: England have also experienced two "unconfirmed positive tests", with the players and management now self-isolating. No decisions have been made regarding the rest of the series but you'd have to think it is severely in doubt. The teams have released a joint statement confirming the Paarl ODI is off.
Ashley Giles, managing director of England men's cricket, said: "We regret that we are unable to play in today's ODI, but the welfare of the players and support staff is our primary concern and whilst we await the results of further tests the medical advice from both teams was that this game should not take place. We remain in constant dialogue with Cricket South Africa and will continue to work closely with them to determine how best to move forward."
CSA director of cricket, Graeme Smith, said: "CSA is doing everything in our power to ensure that our top priority, which is the health, safety and welfare of players, support staff and all involved in this series is safeguarded. With that in mind, we have made the joint decision to cancel today's match. We are deeply regretful of the situation we find ourselves in after the amount of time and energy that has been put in place to host a successful tour. We are in continuous talks with the ECB as we navigate the situation under the guidance of our combined medical teams."
10.20am: We are still awaiting further word on the rest of the series - as things stand, ODIs remain scheduled for Monday and Wednesday in Cape Town. But if England were twitchy about an unexplained positive in the South Africa squad emerging on Thursday, they are bound to have a lot of questions that need answering now.
Meanwhile, if it's actual cricket you're after, there's some T20I bashment going on over in Sydney, where stand-in captain Matthew Wade is leading the Aussie charge
9.50am: Our story on the cancellation is currently updating here, and we are expecting a further statement from CSA shortly. Fair to say none of what's gone on over the last few days has been ideal for South African cricket - as Firdose points out, they are due to host three more incoming tours this summer.
9.33m: Match abandoned, they have pulled the plug early. It's a repeat of the scenario from Friday, and you'd have to think the fate of the tour is in serious jeopardy right now.
"The tour can be delayed for another 3 to 5 days if required. Don't risk players. Let it be any team for that matter." England are due to fly home on Thursday, Vinoth K. And I don't think they'll be doing anything to put that at risk
"So will both the Teams share 5 Points each of this ODI, or will they again use the Percentage method??" Mustafa Moudi's referring to the World Cup Super League, of course. These three games can certainly be played at a later date - but I doubt that's top of the pile of issues right now
9.20am: So, to reiterate, we have a delay to the planned ODI in Paarl while England wait for the results of another round of Covid testing carried out on Saturday evening. They have had concerns about a bio-security breach at the Vineyard hotel in Cape Town, and members of the staff testing positive will hardly have eased their fears. No news on when we could actually get going, looks like we'll have to sit tight for now.
9.08am: We have more Covid testing drama, although there's still the chance we'll see a game today. There's going to be a delayed start, though, because of two positive tests returned by staff at the hotel. Here's the statement:
"Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have agreed to delay the start time for today's One-Day International match, which is due to take place in Paarl. The England players and management underwent an additional round of PCR tests on Saturday evening, after two members of the hotel staff testing positive for COVID-19. Whilst the ECB awaits ratification of those test results the decision has been taken to delay the start of today's ODI match.
9.05am: Well, on the subject of turning up to the ground - Firdose Moonda is there, but she says there's no sign of either team yet. Which is a bit ominous, given that the game is due to begin in less than an hour.
Two days later: Let's try this again, shall we? Fingers crossed no one turns up to the ground with a cough… This was supposed to be round two of the ODI series, after the opener in Cape Town on Friday. But, well, there was a little local Covid difficulty, so here we are. Game one is now in Paarl, with the postponed fixture taking place tomorrow back at Newlands. ODIs are something of a sideshow right now, given where we are in the World Cup cycle, so it might well be a case of wham, bam, let's get this in the can - but that doesn't mean the teams won't serve up a good old ding-dong for us to enjoy. You can start your day with George's preview, and we'll be up and running with the toss and team news soon.
11am: Okay, that's probably going to be our lot from Cape Town for now. One of the briefer, and more unusual, commentary stints. Let's hope for better news ahead of the rescheduled opener on Sunday. Bye
10.40am: Meanwhile, over in Canberra there's more trouble brewing - this time the on-field variety, at least. Seems India have utilised the concussion substitute rule, and Australia aren't too chuffed about it because of the identity of the player replacing, Ravindra Jadeja, the India allrounder who was hit on the head while batting.
"Well that is my Friday ruined. Was going to enjoy this match." Yep, it's put a bit of a dampener on things, Webby. But first and foremost let's hope the player in question isn't too crook, and there aren't more cases to be uncovered - else it'll be curtains for the series
"ABSOLUTE SCENES!" wails Abhijato, "2020 has clearly been the weirdest year in modern cricketing history, even after considering the previous year was the GOAT summer ;_;" Still 27 more days of it to go...
10.30am: Well, for once the phrase "nothing to see here" is accurate, rather than a euphemism. CSA has reportedly said the player who tested positive has been isolated from his team-mates, and is hopeful the rest of the series will go ahead.
Here is some more detail from Govender, the CSA acting chief executive: "A Proteas player has tested positive from our last round of tests on Thursday before the ODIs and so, in the interest of player safety, CSA and ECB decided to postpone this game to Monday. The doctors on both sides have told us that it is a perceived risk and not an actual risk but both boards have decided that we would rather have the players not go onto the field if there is any kind of risk at all. Everybody will be tested again today and there is a 24 hour turnaround for results."
10.15am: Well, I suppose you can't say they didn't warn us. Not the first game that has been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic, certainly - and we have seen bio-bubble breaches before, too. But it's unwelcome news for South African cricket. Fingers crossed this just an isolated outbreak, rather than something more serious.
9.58am: The first ODI has been offically postponed, with CSA confirming that a South Africa player has tested positive for Covid-19. The rejigged plan will now be to play Sunday, Monday and Wednesday (assuming there isn't a full-scale outbreak). This is from the CSA release: "In the interests of the safety and wellbeing 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." Our full story is being pieced together here, with doubtless plenty of reaction to follow
9.45am: We understand that today's ODI is in danger of being called off, an official statement from CSA is expected soon. The England team are believed to have returned to the team hotel
9.40am: Good morning, and welcome to our coverage of the first ODI. We should be all set for South Africa and England to go head to head once again in the series opener in Cape Town. I say should, because we are hearing some Covid-related rumbling around the game... Stick around for more as soon as we get it
|JJ Smuts||Batting Allrounder|
|David Miller||Middle order Batter|
|Dwaine Pretorius||Bowling Allrounder|
|Rassie van der Dussen||Top order Batter|
|Temba Bavuma||Middle order Batter|
|Quinton de Kock † (c)||Wicketkeeper Batter|
|Heinrich Klaasen||Wicketkeeper Batter|
|Andile Phehlukwayo||Bowling Allrounder|
|Kyle Verreynne||Wicketkeeper Batter|
|Janneman Malan||Top order Batter|
|Boland Park, Paarl|
|Match number||ODI no. 004267a|
|Hours of play (local time)||10.00 start, First Session 10.00-13.30, Interval 13.30-14.15, Second Session 14.15-17.45|
|Match days||06 December 2020 - day (50-over match)|