Two South Africa players test positive for coronavirus; withdrawn from Sri Lanka Test series

Two South Africa players test positive for coronavirus; withdrawn from Sri Lanka Test series

Two unnamed players in South Africa’s Test squad have tested positive for coronavirus and been withdrawn from the two-match series at home to Sri Lanka.

The Proteas – who will play Sri Lanka in Centurion from Boxing Day and Johannesburg from January 3 – have added seamer Lutho Sipamla and uncapped batsman Raynard van Tonder to their party.

All-rounder Dwaine Pretorius has also been cleared fit for the series – which will be shown live on Sky Sports – after overcoming a hamstring issue.

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A number of positive Covid-19 cases were recently detected in domestic matches in which members of the Test squad played, forcing Cricket South Africa to postpone a round of four-day games scheduled to be held between December 20 and 23.

South Africa’s three-match ODI series at home to England in December was postponed on welfare grounds after a number of positive coronavirus cases left the players with concerns over the bio-secure bubble.

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A Cricket South Africa statement regarding the Sri Lanka series read: “Cricket South Africa (CSA) can confirm that two members of the Proteas team have returned positive Covid-19 results following their scheduled first round of testing ahead of the team’s entry into the bio-secure environment for the Betway Test series against Sri Lanka.

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“The players will no longer form part of the Test team and will observe the Covid-19 protocols, including isolating with immediate effect. CSA’s medical team will monitor them to ensure their health and well-being.

“CSA can also confirm that no other players in the currently named squad were deemed close contacts after contact tracing procedures were conducted.”

Former South Africa Under-19 captain Van Tonder, 22, has been in a rich vein of form in domestic cricket, scoring 604 runs at an average 67.11 this season, including a recent double century.

Fast bowler Sipamla has played only white-ball cricket for his country so far, featuring in four one-day internationals and six T20 internationals.

South Africa Test squad: Quinton de Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Beuran Hendricks, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, Sarel Erwee, Anrich Nortje, Glenton Stuurman, Wiaan Mulder, Keegan Petersen, Kyle Verreynne, Migael Pretorius, Dwaine Pretorius, Lutho Sipamla, Raynard van Tonder

Watch South Africa’s Test series at home to Sri Lanka live on Sky Sports Cricket from 7.55am on Boxing Day.

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