The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have released an official statement after the results of the two unconfirmed COVID-19 positive tests in the England camp came through.
The ODI series between England and South Africa was called off after three members of the Proteas team and two members of the Vineyard Hotel staff tested positive for COVID-19.
Nick Peirce, ECB Chief Medical Officer, said in the statement that, “Following the independent ratification of the two unconfirmed positive COVID-19 tests from the England camp in South Africa, the England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that, following further testing and analysis, in the opinion of the independent virologists based in Cape Town and London, the two individuals are not infected, and do not pose any risk of passing on the infection to the rest of the party.”
“As such, the advice is they are now free to join the rest of the group and are no longer self-isolating. The England party, returning to the UK, will depart Cape Town on Thursday morning,” he added.
The news of a South African player contracting the virus led to the last Friday's scheduled first one-dayer getting called off and then on Saturday (December 5).
The bio-bubble put in place by Cricket South Africa (CSA) for this series didn't quite meet England's expectations, said England’s director of cricket Ashley Giles, who, however, wasn't drawn into the specific details of the issue.
However, CSA chief medical officer Dr. Shuaib Manjra said that ECB had created more of a vacuum than a secure bio-bubble for their home series against West Indies and Pakistan and that their hopes for the same in South Africa were too much.
He said, “It was suggested to me that the term 'bio-secure' is revisited because I don't believe it is financially or logistically possible for any other country to create the environment that the ECB did without enforcing a virtual police state.”
(Sportsmail/Cricbuzz inputs for quotes)