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Coronavirus wrecks South Africa’s Test series selection against Sri Lanka

South Africa’s 10 members are in doubt for the Test series after they were part of the domestic game which was called off due to coronavirus.

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Coronavirus wrecks South Africa’s Test series selection against Sri Lanka
Cricket South Africa's woes have been compounded after 10 players were present in two domestic games that saw five cases of players been tested positive for coronavirus. (Image credit: Twitter)
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    South Africa’s two-Test series against Sri Lanka is a week away but the coronavirus situation has given them a massive headache when it comes to selection. In two domestic games between Titans vs Dolphins as well as Lions vs Knights, there have been five cases of coronavirus. In both those games, Rassie van der Dussen, Beuran Hendricks, Wiaan Mulder, Migael Pretorius, Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Lungi Ngidi, Keshav Maharaj, Sarel Erwee and Keegan Petersen, members of the South Africa Test squad, were present. There has been no official confirmation of whether any of the 10 are infected or were in close contacts with those who are infected. If the players fall in the above category, then they will have to isolate themselves for 10 days, which will mean they will miss the first Test against Sri Lanka which is the Boxing Day Test in Centurion.

    According to a Cricbuzz report, South Africa's entire squad was tested on Wednesday and Thursday, and will be again on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. Even if all those results come back negative, it is highly unlikely that none of the players would not have been in close contact - defined as being within two metres of a positive case for 15 minutes spread over 24 hours - with the affected players in their franchise teams.

    The first Test against Sri Lanka starts on December 26 and only Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Temba Bavuma, Anrich Nortje, Kyle Verreynne and Glenton Stuurman are confirmed as available.

    No threat to Tests

    However, an ESPNCricinfo report said that the Test series still remains on track despite the new coronavirus cases. South Africa is in the second wave of the pandemic and on a single day, there were more than 10,000 cases for the first time since August. The biosecure bubble at the Irene Country Club - which is the venue that will host both South Africa and Sri Lanka for the two Tests - is on track and Cricket South Africa expect the series to go ahead, albeit with some absentees

    Sri Lanka will play two Tests against South Africa that will be part of the ICC World Test Championship. In the previous series that was played in 2019, Sri Lanka became the first Asian team to win a Test series in South Africa after they whitewashed them 2-0.

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