England have expressed deep concern about the integrity of the Proteas’ bio-secure environment.
The first one-day international of the series in Cape Town was called off after the Proteas returned yet another positive Covid-19 test, their third in as many weeks.
There were even concerns that the series would be scrapped altogether, given the frequency with which the hosts are returning positive tests. The teams stay in the same Cape Town hotel, which is closed to the public.
On Saturday, Cricket South Africa reported that the Proteas’ last run of tests have returned no positive results, and that the ODI in Paarl would go ahead as scheduled.
However, Dr Shuaib Manjra, CSA’s chief medical officer, conceded that England were worried about what’s happening in the Proteas camp.
‘There is a cause for concern and England have expressed a concern. England are questioning the confidence they have in the bio-secure environment and rightfully so,’ Dr Manjra said.
‘If there has been a player who tested positive in the last week, they have cause for concern and we respect that concern. We met with the English medical team and we have planned out a way.
‘We will retest all players and hotel staff [tomorrow, later brought forward]. We will await the results and determine a course of action and then on Tuesday before the final ODI we will retest the team again.’
The third positive test, thought to be Heinrich Klaasen, caught the team by surprise and raised concerns about the integrity of the bio-bubble.
‘This test surprised us because we have confidence in the integrity of the bio-secure environment,’ Manjra said. ‘Further tests indicate that this is a more recent case that occurred within the bio-secure environment. So, clearly there seems to be some kind of breach which we have investigated in great detail to try and determined where this happened.
‘We have traversed a couple of different spaces, trying to recount some of the events: speaking to the player, looking at security cameras, looking at other information and we haven’t been able to date to identify where the source was but clearly it’s cause for concern.’