The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), on Friday, confirmed that the senior men's team data analyst GT Niroshan tested positive for the novel Coronavirus. On Thursday, the team's batting coach Grant Flower had also returned with COVID positive report, and notably, both were part of the England tour.
After Grant Flower, Sri Lanka's data analyst GT Niroshan also has been tested positive for COVID-19. The Sri Lanka team had recently toured England for a white-ball series. A few days back, it had emerged that seven English personnel, including three players, had tested positive for the novel Coronavirus, and they were part of the series against Sri Lanka. There was a likelihood of personnel from the Lanka camp testing positive too. And the worst fears came true, first after the team's batting coach Grant Flower tested COVID positive, and now with the report of the team's data analyst.
The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) confirmed the development and issued a statement, saying that the team's analyst had tested positive for COVID-19. They also added that both Flower and Niroshan are following the SOPs after returning with positive reports.
"The Data Analyst of the Sri Lanka National Team, G.T. Niroshan, has tested positive for Covid 19. He was found to be positive, following a PCR Test carried out among the National Players, Coaches, and Support Staff yesterday, following the identification of Grant Flower as Covid Positive. Niroshan is now undergoing due medical protocols," Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a statement.
The team and the staff were undergoing separate isolation on returning from the tour of England. However, they were supposed to form a bubble on Friday, but now it has been delayed, and they will spend two more days in isolation, followed by another round of RT-PCR tests, reported ESPN Cricinfo. One of the concerning things for the board is that both the positive members are affected by the more dangerous and contagious Delta Variant.
However, the SLC does have a backup plan in place. There are two other groups of players in bio-bubbles - one in Colombo, and one in Dambulla - who can step up if the first-choice players fail to turn up against India, owing to COVID-19 concerns, with the ODI leg starting from July 13.