CHENNAI: In a development that could threaten to disrupt the upcoming Sri Lanka-India limited-overs series, Grant Flower, batting coach of the home side, tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday. Flower has been shifted to an intermediate care centre outside the bio-bubble. The series starts with the first ODI in Colombo on July 13.
"Yes, (Grant) Flower tested Covid positive. He was immediately shifted to an intermediate care centre outside the bio-bubble. Others from the Sri Lankan squad were made to undergo antigen tests and all of them have returned negative," Mohan de Silva, secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), told this daily.
Speaking on the plan which was put in place after the batting coach returned positive, he said, "We will conduct antigen tests every three days from now on. We are quite sure that our players will not get infected as all of them are vaccinated."
Apart from creating a bio-bubble in a Colombo hotel for players and support staff returning from England, the SLC has also set up a separate bubble in another hotel in the city.
Around a dozen of players, who were not part of the squad that travelled to England for the white ball series, are said to be staying in the bubble. The cricket board is planning to rope in a few players from that bubble if it is forced to, given the evolving situation due to the infection.
"If the need arises, we will use players from another bubble," confirmed the SLC secretary.
Sources in Colombo also said that the series against India will go ahead despite a prominent member of the squad contracting virus.
"As of now, it looks the SLC will go ahead with the series against India. They have the option to replace players as the squad hasn't been announced yet. It's a big series for SLC financially as well."
The development came after seven members from the England squad tested Covid positive soon after the conclusion of their series against Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan squad returned to the country on Tuesday. As per the existing protocols, the England returnees will have to stay in the bubble until the eve of the first ODI.