The one-day international series between South Africa and England has been thrown into doubt after the first game was abandoned 30 minutes before the start of play because of two positive coronavirus tests among staff at the hotel where the players are staying in a “bio-secure bubble”.
Two unnamed members of the England touring party have since returned “unconfirmed positive tests” for COVID-19.
South Africa and England were due to clash in the first match of the series in Paarl before news of the positive tests from the hotel staff emerged.
It had already been postponed from Friday (December 4) after an unnamed South African player tested positive.
A decision on whether the final two games of the series – scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday (December 9) – will go ahead is due to be made once the results of the tests carried out on the England party are ratified.
The matches could be played on Tuesday (December 8) and Wednesday as the England squad are due to fly home on Thursday (December 10).
But the positive tests have sparked suggestions the one-day international series could be cancelled.
“We are deeply regretful of the situation we find ourselves in after the amount of time and energy that has been put in place to host a successful tour,” said South Africa director of cricket Graeme Smith.
England director of men’s cricket Ashley Giles said “the welfare of the players and support staff is our primary concern”.
Giles said the first game of the series should not be staged until they receive the results of the tests.
The one-day international series had been due to follow the Twenty20 series, which the tourists won 3-0.