Justnewsday Explains: How the start to India’s limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka got postponed
India’s limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka, an assignment in which opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been handed the reins of a team that is without several of its frontline players, received a setback this week in the form of multiple COVID-19 positive cases emerging from the hosts’ camp.
With Sri Lanka batting coach and former Zimbabwe batsman Grant Flower testing positive for the dreaded virus not long after their arrival from England, data analyst GT Niroshan and batsman Sandun Weerakkody have also returned positive tests, increasing fears of an outbreak in the Sri Lankan camp much like the one in the English side that forced the entire first team to isolate and miss out on the Pakistan one-dayers.
And it’s this worry that has led to a delay to the start of the one-day international series that was to get India’s tour, which features Rahul Dravid as the head coach of the senior national team for the first time.
In this explainer, we take a look at some of the key questions surrounding Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) decision to move away from the original date of 13 July for the first ODI:
When will the ODI series between Sri Lanka and India get underway?
The three-match ODI series between neighbours Sri Lanka and India will now start on 18 July, the confirmation of which was made by BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Saturday.
Who are the players and members of coaching staff across the two camps who have tested positive for COVID-19?
The virus has so far spread to three persons in the two bio-bubbles ahead of the limited-overs fixtures, all three of them being part of the Sri Lankan contingent — batting coach Grant Flower, data analyst GT Niroshan and batsman Sandun Weerakkody — that recently returned from England, where COVID-19 cases are on the rise and as many as three players and four members of the coaching staff contracted the illness, resulting in the entire English squad getting isolated.
What are the new dates for India’s tour of Sri Lanka?
The delay to the ODI series has resulted in all the other matches getting pushed back as well. The ODIs will now take place on 18, 20 and 23 July, while the 20-over contests will be played on 25, 27 and 29 of this month.
Where will the matches be played?
All six matches in India’s tour of Sri Lanka will be played at the iconic R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
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