The English and Sri Lankan players have been hit with a mild scare as Phil Whitticase, Match Referee in each of the three T20Is between the two teams, has tested positive for Covid-19. Whitticase is asymptomatic and the ECB confirmed that his close contacts will isolate for a 10-day period.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have confirmed that 56-year-old Phil Whitticase has tested positive for Covid-19. Whitticase was, incidentally, standing in his first-ever T20I series, and the Match Referee was pictured together at the toss alongside England skipper Eoin Morgan and Sri Lanka skipper Kusal Perera. The ECB, however, have confirmed that no players have been impacted, and have added that Whitticase’s close contacts have been identified and asked to self-isolate for 10 days.
“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,” the ECB said in a statement.
“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.”
Players not being affected means that the three-match ODI series between England and Sri Lanka will go ahead as planned.
“Alternative arrangements will be put in place to ensure Tuesday’s ODI goes ahead as planned,” the board confirmed.
The first of the three ODIs will be played at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street on June 29.