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Proteas v England: Series in tatters as Monday’s Newlands ODI also called off

An empty Newlands hosts the first T20 between the Proteas and England (Gallo)

South Africa’s 2nd ODI clash against world champions England, scheduled to take place at Newlands on Monday, has also been called off. 

It is the latest development in what is proving to be a write-off of a series due to coronavirus scares that have emerged from the Vineyard Hotel bio-bubble – the Cape Town base for both the Proteas and England for the duration of this limited overs series. 

The Proteas lost the T20 series 3-0 before Friday’s opening ODI at Newlands was postponed as a result of a Proteas player – the third since their squad announcement ahead of the series – testing positive for Covid-19 from within the bio-bubble. 

The first ODI was then postponed to Sunday and set to take place in Paarl, but the news from the ground less than hour before the toss was that further Covid-19 developments had resulted in that clash, too, being called off. 

This was due to the fact that two hotel staffers, working within close proximity to the English squad, had also tested positive for the virus.

England were then forced to undergo another round of testing on Saturday evening and, on Sunday, it was confirmed that two of their players had returned two unconfirmed positive tests of their own. 

Monday’s ODI has now been called off too, and it is understood that the only logical decision left is to scrap the series altogether. 

On both Friday at Newlands and in Paarl on Sunday, journalists and broadcasters had made their way to the respective grounds before any indication was given that the matches were to be postponed or abandoned.

“The second Betway One-Day
International (ODI) between South Africa and England, which is due to take place
at Six Gun Grill Newlands, will now not take place on Monday 7 December,” a statement from Cricket South Africa read on Sunday night. 

“The decision has been taken by
Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) whilst
they await the outcome of the independent ratification of the two unconfirmed
positive COVID-19 tests from the England camp and the continued health and
wellbeing of both playing groups. 

“Once the findings of this review
have been received, CSA and ECB will then discuss how best to proceed
concerning the remaining two matches of this ODI Series.”

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