New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The deadly COVID-19 pandemic has started to disrupt cricket again as scheduled India vs Sri Lanka ODI series has been rescheduled on Friday owing to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Sri Lanka team camp. As per the revised dates, the first ODI, which was earlier scheduled to be played on July 13, has been rescheduled to July 17.

The postponement came after Sri Lanka's batting coach Grant Flower and data analyst G T Niroshan tested positive for the dreaded virus on return from the United Kingdom, which has forced Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to extend the hard quarantine period from the stipulated three days.

"Yes, the series will now start from 17th of July instead of 13th. The decision was taken in consultation with SLC keeping the safety and security of players in mind," a senior BCCI official, as quoted by news agency PTI said.

After talking to sources in SLC, it has been learnt that new dates are still being chalked out in consultation with the BCCI. The tentative dates could be July 17, 19 and 21 for the 50-over games, while the three-match T20I rubber is likely to start from July 24. "We are discussing a few options on the fresh itinerary," a source in SLC told PTI.

As per the original schedule, the series was to start with the ODI leg on July 13, followed by matches on July 16 and July 18. The T20I games were scheduled for July 21, July 23 and July 25. The second-string Indian team, being led by Shikhar Dhawan with Rahul Dravid as chief coach, has completed its hard quarantine and has been training in Colombo.

The SLC source informed that all the Sri Lankan players who came back from UK have tested negative. "Once the contingent returned from the UK, Grant tested positive on arrival in RT PCR on the first day. All other players were then in their respective room (hard) quarantine. We removed Grant immediately in separate isolation zone. He is asymptomatic," the source added.

"Yesterday we tested the others once again and today G T Niroshan's report came positive and he was also isolated. Since we didn't receive any other positive reports as of now, it means that the players who returned from UK have tested negative in their second RT PCR test."

With all the games at the Premadasa Stadium, the dates can be kept flexible as no travelling is involved. The Indian team is staying at its preferred location for the last three decades -- Taj Samudra. All the other players who are quarantining have also been tested.


(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan