Positive Covid-19 test among England-Sri Lanka match officials forces changes for ODI series

Phil Whitticase asymptomatic despite positive test, seven officials deemed close contacts

Eoin Morgan, Phil Whitticase and Kusal Perera at the toss, England vs Sri Lanka, 3rd T20I, Southampton, June 26, 2021

Phil Whitticase with the captains at the toss for the third T20I  •  AFP/Getty Images

The ECB has been forced to seek replacements for five officials due to oversee the start of England's ODI series with Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street on Tuesday, after a positive Covid-19 test was returned by a member of the team at Southampton for the third T20I.
Phil Whitticase, the match referee for the T20I series, tested positive for Covid-19 after a PCR test that was administered on Friday. He was asymptomatic and feeling well, according to the ECB, but will have to undergo a 10-day period of isolation.
Seven of the match officials and anti-corruption personnel at the Ageas Bowl have been deemed close contacts, including five who were due to officiate at the Emirates Riverside. They will also be required to self-isolate for 10 days, until July 7. England will play three ODIs against Sri Lanka over the coming week, at Chester-le-Street, The Oval and Bristol.
"No members of the two teams were impacted," the ECB said in a statement. "Alternative arrangements will be put in place to ensure Tuesday's ODI goes ahead as planned."
According to the ICC's website, Chris Broad was due to be the match referee for the first ODI, with Michael Gough and Richard Kettleborough named as umpires.