The fallout of the cancelled England tour is being felt in significant ways, the latest being Sri Lanka pondering the wisdom of coming to South Africa amid concerns over bio-bubble integrity.
On Tuesday, it was reported that Australia were considering their options in terms of their tour, scheduled for February and March 2021. There is a strong feeling from Cricket Australia that it would be safer to host the Proteas in Perth instead, given the safety concerns following bubble breaches that ended England’s tour prematurely.
Now ESPNcricinfo reports Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is considering withdrawing from their tour, scheduled to start in 17 days. They have also discussed moving the tour to Sri Lanka with Cricket South Africa.
The main point of concern is that Sri Lanka are due to play England 10 days after arriving back home. The financial implications of that tour being affected by Covid-19 positive cases could be devastating for the SLC.
The two governing bodies are in discussion about bio-bubble arrangements in South Africa, which the SLC is insisting be far more stringent than originally planned.
Sri Lanka’s team physician, Dr Daminda Attanayake, told the website: ‘I have to bring the [Sri Lankan] players back from South Africa without a single positive case. We’ve requested [South Africa’s] protocols be identical to the bio-bubble protocols we have been using for the LPL [Lanka Premier League]. We’ve been successful with those. Players have tested positive but they’ve been isolated. We’re requesting these protocols be followed not just by our team, but theirs as well.’
Dr Attanayake added that SLC medical staff will ask that even the cleaning staff in the hotels the teams are staying at be placed in the bubble, so that the virus cannot be brought in from outside.
The SLC medical staff have scheduled a meeting with the ECB’s medical staff for Wednesday afternoon. They’ll discuss the nature of CSA’s safety protocols and make recommendations to their board about the viability of the tour.