Eoin Morgan and England must wait as South Africa ODI delayed due to Covid scare

Eoin Morgan and England must wait as South Africa ODI delayed due to Covid scare

Members of the England team’s hotel staff have returned positive tests for coronavirus, causing a delay to play in Paarl. England’s one-day tour against South Africa took another dramatic turn on Sunday, with the rescheduled series opener delayed following a coronavirus scare at the team hotel.

The first match of the series was postponed on Friday after a member of the Proteas squad tested positive, but the boards agreed to resume after the Proteas returned a full round of negatives on Saturday morning.

But there was another twist on Sunday when it emerged that two members of England’s dedicated staff at the Vineyard Hotel had tested positive for Covid-19.

The England squad and backroom staff received a fresh round of tests on Saturday evening and the game, due to start at 8am GMT, was delayed pending the results.

A statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board read: “Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have agreed to delay the start time for today’s one-day international match, which is due to take place in Paarl.

“The England players and management underwent an additional round of PCR tests on Saturday evening, after two members of the hotel staff tested positive for Covid-19.

“While the ECB awaits ratification of those test results the decision has taken to delay the start of today’s ODI match. Further information will be provided in due course.”


South African hopes of starting the first ODI in Paarl on time were floored on Sunday morning
South African and English hopes of starting the ODI in Paarl on time floored on Sunday morning (Halden Krog/AP)

Roy Davies, general manager of the Vineyard Hotel. Issued a statement revealing the members of staff had tested positive on Friday and had since isolating.

“The Vineyard Hotel can confirm that two staff members tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, December 4. Following the positive test of a South African player on Thursday, December 3,” he said.

“At this stage, it is not clear how the staff members became infected. As neither have left the bio-secure area since November 16. And they do not work on the same team or in the same area. Our Covid response team is endeavouring to establish all the facts and contact tracing is underway.

“Our number one priority is the safety and wellbeing of our staff and guests and we have placed all our resources and efforts into investigating and resolving the situation. Both members of staff and a player who also tested positive on Friday. Currently isolated in on-site apartments some distance from the hotel which has kept sterilised. And available for this purpose.”

Eoin Morgan and England must wait as South Africa ODI delayed due to Covid scare.

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