A Sri Lankan player from the alternative limited-overs squad and bio-bubble in Colombo, which was training as a back-up for the India series, has tested positive for Covid-19. This comes as another setback for the Sri Lankan set-up because the first-choice squad to take on India had already been hit by two Covid-19 cases this week: batting coach Grant Flower and team analyst GT Niroshan.
The player who tested positive on Saturday was staying with the alternative group at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo. The visiting India squad is staying at a different hotel.
The two back-up squads were training in different bio-bubbles in Colombo and Dambulla, and players from both groups could be called up to play the series against India, which has been pushed back yet again, and is now set to begin on July 18.
The recent Covid-19 cases in the main Sri Lanka squad, after they arrived from England, where the home limited-overs squad was also hit by seven Covid-19 cases, has forced the ODIs and T20Is against India to be rescheduled. As of now, the ODIs are set to be played on July 18, 20 and 23, followed by the T20Is on July 25, 27 and 29.
Both Flower and Niroshan were moved to intermediate care facilities, and both had contracted the Delta variant of the virus, which is particularly contagious as well as dangerous. The Sri Lanka squad was expected to come out of isolation and enter the team's bio-bubble on Friday, but will now be forced to spend at least two more days in isolation, and face another RT-PCR test, the results of which will determine whether the main squad can viably play the series against India.