Warm-up match cancelled after second Proteas player tests positive for COVID-19

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South Africa called off an intra-squad warm-up match scheduled for this weekend after a second player tested positive for COVID-19.

An unnamed player and two possible close contacts had been sent into isolation earlier this week, and now the 24-strong training group has been rocked by another positive test.

Another Proteas player tests positive

Cricket South Africa confirmed the positive tests on Friday and revealed that the scheduled warm-up match would not go ahead.

The Proteas haven’t played since February of this year although domestic cricket has started back up again.

According to a spokesperson from CSA, the second positive case did not come from anyone who had been in contact with the first.

CSA has all along refused to reveal the identity of the players who have returned positive tests.

“Cricket South Africa would like to reiterate that it will not release names of affected players because of doctor-patient confidentiality,” a statement said.

“Team management and Cricket South Africa (CSA) are in close communication with their counterparts from the England Cricket Board (ECB) to ensure full transparency and the most responsible plan of action going forward.”

The entire England squad was given a clean bill of health following a round of tests conducted shortly after the group arrived in South Africa.

South Africa will host England for three T20Is and as many ODIs in the limited over series in what will be their first international assignment in eight months.

The matches will all be staged in the Western Cape province of South Africa with two T20Is and two ODIs taking place at Newlands and one match in each format set for Boland Park.

Aggressive but smart

The Proteas have set out their stall to play aggressively but with intelligence.

“We have decided a way that we want to play … we want to be nice and aggressive. I think that’s the way that the game is going, and we have to keep up with the direction of the game,” Boucher told reporters this week. 

“The smartness is also something that we’ve spoken a lot about.

“It’s one thing going out there and saying you’re going to be aggressive, but you also don’t want to be mavericks. You want to be nice and smart and that is something we want to improve on.

“We’ve identified the way we want to play, and then it’s about identifying players who can play that sort of way while also giving opportunities for guys to grow because maybe their game plans don’t suit that style of play.

“If we can start moving in that direction – adding a few shots to their game if they’re batters or some different deliveries for bowlers – then we’re challenging players and they’ll be moving in the right direction.”

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