England all-rounder Moeen Ali has been tested positive for Covid after the English team arrived in Hambantota ahead of their Test series against Sri Lanka. England landed in the island country on Sunday amid strict coronavirus protocols.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has officially confirmed the news and has also told that all the necessary precautions are being taken care by the English team and the management.
The visitors underwent the mandatory Covid-19 tests – which all come back negative as was the case when they were tested in London- and were sprayed with disinfectant by staff in full protective suits after arriving on a chartered flight into Hambantota. But on Monday, all-rounder Moeen Ali was tested positive for the Corona virus. The rest members of England camp, however, tested negative.
However, allrounder Chris Woakes who has been reportedly close to Moeen Ali will also have to self-isolate and undergo further testing. He is expected to be in isolation for a minimum of seven days. On the other hand, Moeen Ali will now observe a 10-day period of self-isolation in accordance with Sri Lanka’s government regulations. The remainder of England’s squad will now require second PCR tests.
“Following PCR tests administered on arrival at the airport in Hambantota on Monday 4th 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,” read a statement from the ECB.
“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,” added the statement.
The two-match Test series is scheduled to start from January 14. Both Tests will take place behind closed doors in Galle, with the second game beginning on January 22, after which England will fly to India for a four-Test series against the hosts. England’s series in Sri Lanka was scheduled to take place in March 2020 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Given the timeline of the first test and the quarantine period, it is assumed that Moeen Ali has to miss the first test match but it would be interesting to see if anything contrary to that happens.