Moeen Ali tests positive for coronavirus after England touring party arrive in Sri Lanka

Chris Woakes will also have to self-isolate after being deemed a ‘close contact’

Vithushan Ehantharajah
Sports Feature Writer
Monday 04 January 2021 14:10 GMT
Moeen Ali has tested positive for Covid-19
Moeen Ali has tested positive for Covid-19 (AFP via Getty Images)

Moeen Ali has tested positive for coronavirus after England’s touring party arrived in Hambantota on Sunday ahead of their Test and ODI series against Sri Lanka.

Ali, who has now been moved to separate accommodation, will observe a 10-day period of self-isolation in accordance with Sri Lanka’s government regulations, meaning he will be able to rejoin the squad on 13 January. The first Test is due to begin in Galle on the following day.

Chris Woakes has been deemed a “close contact” of Ali’s after the pair shared a taxi to Heathrow airport and will also need to isolate for a minimum of seven days while undergoing further testing. 

READ MORE: How 2020 exposed many of cricket’s deep-rooted issues

The remainder of England’s squad will now be subject to second PCR tests ahead of the two-Test series, which is followed by three ODIs. The group’s first training session, initially scheduled for Tuesday, has been postponed by 24 hours.

England’s touring party arrived in Sri Lanka on 3 January
England’s touring party arrived in Sri Lanka on 3 January (AFP via Getty Images)

A statement released by the England and Wales Cricket Board read: "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.

"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. "

Both England’s overseas tours attempted since the Covid-19 pandemic have been called off early, leaving Sri Lanka in March last year without a ball being bowled before three ODIs in South Africa were cancelled last month. 

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