Cricket SA announced just over an hour before the day-night match was due to start.

The first one-day international between South Africa and England, scheduled to be played at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday, has been postponed after a South African player tested positive for Covid-19.

The game was called off, Cricket South Africa said in a release that landed just more than two hours before the scheduled start because a player in South Africa’s squad had tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday.

The match has been postponed until Sunday, and arrangements are being made to push back the second ODI, originally scheduled for Sunday in Paarl.

Testing will now take place and the series will be in main doubt if any other positive tests are returned. The South Africa team will not have time to bring in new players, isolate and test them, before Sunday.

The unnamed player is the third South Africa cricketer to test positive for Covid and brings into question the reliability of their biosecure bubble. Both squads are confined to the same hotel in Cape Town and have been tested regularly.

“Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the England Cricket Board (ECB) would like to announce the postponement of the first Betway One-Day International (ODI) of the three-match series to Sunday, 06 December 2020,” said a statement from CSA.

“This decision results from a player from the Proteas team testing positive for Covid-19 after the teams’ last round of scheduled testing performed on Thursday ahead of the ODIs.”

The series forms part of the International Cricket Council’s World Cup Super League.

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