The upcoming two-match Test series between Sri Lanka and West Indies due to start on Sunday (November 21) is under a threat as Lankan fielding coach Shane McDermott has tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday (November 18). As per COVID-19 norms and protocols, McDermott is self-isolating away from the team hotel.
Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur, batting coach Grant Flower and physio Brett Harrop, who were identified as close contacts have been isolated. Among the mandatory tests conducted on players and support staff, McDermott was the only one to have returned COVID positive.
The coaching staff and players of the Lankan team were seen training in Galle lately, but Sri Lanka Cricket’s medical committee Prof. Arjuna De Silva has said that none of the players have come in direct contact with the coaches.
“There has been no direct contact when it comes to the players’ Anti-body tests will be done on the close contacts tomorrow, while another round of testing will be conducted prior to the start of the first Test,” De Silva was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
De Sliva further opined that all the Lankan players have taken both the vaccination doses and there is no threat to the first Test being delayed or canceled. “All of Sri Lanka’s players and coaching staff are double vaccinated, and as such, there is little chance of the start of the first Test being impacted,” he added.
The two-match Test series is the last one for Arthur as the head coach of the Sri Lankan team. He had earlier stated his wish to step down citing there was no clarity on his post from the Lankan board. Arthur would hope he signs off on a winning note. The two-match Test series between Sri Lanka and West Indies is also the teams’ first assignment in the 2021-23 edition of the World Test Championship (WTC).