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Two Sri Lanka cricketers test positive for Corona ahead of West Indies tour

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Colombo: Sri Lanka’s medium pacer Binura Fernando and seam-bowling all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne have been tested positive for Covid-19 as they begun their training as part of a 22-member limited-overs squad ahead of next month’s tour of the West Indies. Both the players have since been removed from the training group and asked to quarantine.

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According to Sri Lanka Cricket official statement, the squad began training on January 18, and underwent a PCR Test on January 20, the results of which showed Fernando and Karunaratne to be positive for the deadly virus. The players will have another PCR Test on January 26, following several days of quarantine. it further read that if everyone else (apart from the players who have tested positive) gets a negative PCR Test, the squad will return to training in three isolated groups.

“The two players were found to be positive, following a PCR test carried out on January 20,” SLC said in a statement. “Immediately upon identification, they have been directed to follow the government’s health protocol laid out on COVID-19.”

“The squad which commenced training on the January 18 at the SSC Grounds, underwent a PCR test on the 20th, whilst the rest of the players will once again undergo a PCR Test on the 26th January 2021, as part of a routine testing process.”

The remainder of the squad has also been asked to isolate, because the players who got positive results were involved in an all-in fitness test. Meanwhile, the support staff involved have also been instructed to isolate as well. The players, as well as rest of the squad members, will now be in isolation.

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Team Sri Lanka is set to travel to West Indies for two Tests and three ODIs and three T20Is games from the end of February.

For the unversed, Karunaratne played one Test in 2019, against Australia, while Fernando played two T20Is against Pakistan in 2015.

This is the first time that Sri Lankan players have tested positive for Covid-19, as back in 2020, SLC had run residential training camps through the middle of the year, and had also staged the Lanka Premier League without any major Covid-19 scares. However, two players had tested positive on arrival, but were quarantined immediately.

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