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News

Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis tests positive for Covid-19, to miss start of Australia T20I series

Batter is asymptomatic and could feature in the latter half of the five-game assignment, provided he does not develop symptoms

Kusal Mendis weilds a bat at training, England vs Sri Lanka. Cardiff, June 21, 2021

Kusal Mendis' seven-day isolation is due to end on Monday February 13  •  Harry Trump/Getty Images

Kusal Mendis has tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of Sri Lanka's T20I series against Australia. He is asymptomatic, and because he has already had three doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, he will only be required to undergo seven days of isolation. As such, Mendis could feature in the latter half of the series, provided he does not develop symptoms, SLC's chief medical officer Dr Daminda Attanayake told ESPNcricinfo.
"He has been put in isolation since Monday and all the protocols have been followed," she said. "Since the players have had the booster, we have changed our protocols, and those who have been first contacts for him don't have to go into isolation. But they will also continue to be tested."
Mendis' seven-day isolation is due to end on Monday February 13 - the date of the second T20I, in Sydney. If he makes it into the XI, Sri Lanka will likely target his return for the third match, in Canberra, on February 15.
Mendis' Covid-positive status was indicated by a Rapid Antigen Test on February 7, before being confirmd by a PCR test.
His absence from will mean Sri Lanka are without the Lanka Premier League's top scorer for the start of this series. They do have options however, with Avishka Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Charith Asalanka, and Pathum Nissanka all in the squad, among others.
The first match of the five-game series will be played in Sydney, on Friday.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf