Moeen Ali tests positive for Covid-19 ahead of the Test series against Sri Lanka

Moeen Ali tests positive for Covid-19 ahead of the Test series against Sri Lanka

The two-match Test series is set to commence on January 14.

Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

England have been dealt with a blow ahead of the Test series against Sri Lanka as their ace all-rounder Moeen Ali tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the first round of PCR testing on their arrival at the airport in Hambantota on January 3, Sunday. However, all the other players tested negative for the virus in the initial rounds of testing.

After the test reports of Moeen Ali came out, he was asked to self-isolate himself for a period of 10 days as per the health guidelines by the Sri Lankan cricket. Along with Ali, Chris Woakes will also maintain distance with the main squad and will observe a period of self-isolation as it is speculated that he was in close contact with the all-rounder.

The England cricket team be will undergoing second round of PCR testing on January 5, Tuesday and are expected to begin their training from Wednesday as they are allowed to practice for five days from 5-9 January at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium while observing a mandatory 14-day quarantine period in Hambantota.

ECB issues an official statement

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) released an official statement regarding Moeen Ali getting tested positive for the novel coronavirus. “Following PCR tests administered on arrival at the airport in Hambantota on Sunday 3rd January, The England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that Moeen Ali has tested positive for COVID-19.

“Ali will now observe a period of 10-days self-isolation, in accordance with the Sri Lanka Government’s protocol on quarantine. Chris Woakes has been deemed as a possible close contact, and he will observe a period of self-isolation and further testing. The touring party will be PCR tested for a second time on Tuesday morning. At this stage, the team will train for the first time on Wednesday,” the statement read.

England and Sri Lanka were originally scheduled to play a two-match Test series in March 2020 with the first Test starting from March 19 in Galle followed by the second game from March 27 in Colombo. However, the tour was postponed for an indefinite time owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

The Sri Lanka Cricket and ECB finally decided to host the pending Test tour between the two nations in January 2021. The first Test will be played from January 14 to January 18 while the second and final will commence on January 22. Both the matches would be played in Galle International Stadium behind closed doors in a bio-secure bubble to ensure the safety of the players.