Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur and batsman Lahiru Thirimanne were found to have Covid-19 at the latest round of PCR testing conducted on the provisional squad, which has been preparing for the tour of the West Indies later this month.
These developments may force Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to try and reschedule the team's travel plans - the tour is slated to begin on February 20, with the first Test scheduled to begin on February 28. Although the players who have tested positive may recover from the illness in time to tour, they may not be in a position to play the series, depending the longer-term effects of the virus. SLC's medical team will monitor their situation over the next few weeks before further decisions are made.
"They were detected following PCR Tests carried out yesterday (2nd February) for the entire 36-member squad, along with the Coaching Staff, Net Bowlers, and the HPC Staff," SLC said in a statement on Wednesday. "Immediately upon identification, both Mickey Arthur and Lahiru Thirimanne have been directed to follow the Government's health protocol laid out on Covid-19."
The group started training on January 28 in Colombo - in groups of three and at different time slots - for the tour. But the schedule might change now, with SLC saying, "Considering the current situation, SLC is exploring the possibility of rescheduling the Tour of West Indies, which was scheduled to commence on 20th Feb. 2021.
"In the meantime, Sri Lanka Cricket will continue with normal operations, adhering to the stipulated Health Protocols in all its centers."
Last month seamer Binura Fernando and seam-bowling allrounder Chamika Karunaratne had also tested positive for Covid-19 and were subsequently removed from the training group ahead of the West Indies tour.