Sri Lanka continues West Indies Tour despite positive Covid tests

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Mickey Arthur, Sri Lanka’s head coach, had tested positive for COVID-19.© AFP


Sri Lanka Cricket said on Tuesday they are continuing a West Indies tour that had been questioned after opening hitter Lahiru Thirimanne and coach Mickey Arthur contracted the coronavirus. The national board said the squad will head to the Caribbean on February 23 for a series that was originally scheduled to start on Saturday. Sri Lanka Cricket had negotiated to postpone the series since 52-year-old coach Arthur and 31-year-old Thirimanne tested positive.

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There was no official word as to whether the pair would join the tour, but board sources said both were asymptomatic and had completed their mandatory isolation.

Sri Lanka will play three T20s, three one-day internationals and two test matches from March 3 to April 2, “under a bio-safe environment in Antigua,” the board said in a statement.

Thirimanne and Arthur were the only members of the national cricket team to test positive for Covid-19. At least 76,750 people in the Indian Ocean island nation have been infected with the virus, 403 of whom died.

Sri Lanka hosted a two-game test series against England in Galle last month – Thirimanne took 111 in the first – with no spectators as part of strict health regulations to prevent the spread of the virus.

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The three T20 marches will be played on March 3, 5 and 7 at Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua, while the three one-day internationals will be at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium on March 10, 12 and 14.

The two tests will also take place at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, with the first game starting on March 21 and the second on March 29.

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