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Sri Lanka okay with Caribbean tour in spite of positive tests

Sri Lanka said on Tuesday that it will go ahead with a West Indies tour which had been thrown into doubt after opening batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and coach Mickey Arthur contracted coronavirus.

The national board said that the squad will leave for the Caribbean on February 23 for a series which was originally due to start on Saturday. Sri Lanka Cricket had been negotiating to delay the series since 52-year-old coach Arthur and 31-year-old Thirimanne tested positive.

There was no official word on whether the pair would join the tour, but board sources said both were asymptomatic and had completed their mandatory isolation.

Sri Lanka will play three T20s, three one-day internationals and two Test matches “under a bio-secure environment in Antigua” from March 3 to April 2, the board said in a statement.

Thirimanne and Arthur were the only members of the national cricket squad who tested positive for Covid-19.  At least 76,750 people in the Indian Ocean island nation have been infected with the virus, with 403 dying.

Sri Lanka hosted a two-match Test series against England at Galle last month — Thirimanne made 111 in the first of them — without any spectators as part of strict health regulations to prevent the spread of the virus

The three T20 matches will be played on March 3, 5 and 7 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua while the three one-day internationals will be at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium on March 10, 12 and 14.

The two Tests will also be at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium with the first game starting on March 21 and the second on March 29.


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