Englands first one-day international vs Sri Lanka to go ahead despite Covid-19 concern caused by match referee

England’s one-day international against Sri Lanka on Tuesday will go ahead as planned despite a Covid-19 alert caused by a positive test for match referee Phil Whitticase.

Whitticase served for the three-match T20 series between the sides, which concluded on Saturday, but was found to be carrying the virus during a PCR test completed on Friday.

No players or backroom staff have been identified as close contacts and all are free to contest the next game as planned, but seven individuals from the officiating and anti-corruption teams have been instructed to self-isolate for 10 days.

That will mean some last-minute changes to the personnel involved for the match at Emirates Riverside, Durham, but an England and Wales Cricket Board statement confirmed that would be taken care of with no impact on the series.

A statement issued by the ECB read: “Following a PCR test administered on Friday 25 June at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, the England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that ICC match referee Phil Whitticase has tested positive for Covid-19. Whitticase, who was officiating during the three-match Vitality IT20 Series between England and Sri Lanka, is well and is asymptomatic.

“He will now observe a period of 10 days of self-isolation from 25 June, in accordance with the UK Government’s protocol on quarantine.

“Seven other members from the match officials and anti-corruption unit teams were deemed close contacts, including five members due to officiate at the first Royal London ODI on Tuesday, 29 June at Emirates Riverside, Durham. Those impacted will have to self-isolate for 10 days until 7 July.

“No members of the two teams were impacted. Alternative arrangements will be put in place to ensure Tuesday’s ODI goes ahead as planned.”

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