Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Thushara tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of tour to Australia
Colombo : Uncapped Sri Lanka bowler Nuwan Thushara has tested positive for COVID-19. Apart from Thushara, included in Sri Lankas 20-member squad for the tour comprising five T20Is, Dilshan Fonseka, the team trainer, has also tested positive for COVID-19. The positive cases come ahead of the team’s departure to Australia on February 3.”Both were found to be positive during a routine PCR test conducted among the squad and the support staff, who are currently remaining in a Bio-Secure Bubble ahead of the team’s departure to Australia.”Both of them are currently undergoing COVID-19 protocols and will rejoin the squad on the 10th of February, upon completion of the protocols,” said a statement from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Monday.Thushara, whose slingy bowling action brought comparisons with former pacer Lasith Malinga, was one of the top three wicket-takers in the Lanka Premier League, claiming 12 wickets across eight matches with an economy rate of 8.11 for Galle Gladiators. According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, Thushara had returned a positive test for COVID-19 six days ago.
“His second RT-PCR test is scheduled for Tuesday, the seventh day from the initial test, but with the team set to fly out on February 3, SLC and its medical team will have to decide whether Thushara can travel with the rest of the squad or not,” said the report.The report also had SLC’s medical department chief, Professor Arjuna de Silva, saying even if a negative test comes out on Tuesday, Thushara would need to undergo further tests before getting clearance to go to Australia with the rest of the squad.
“We haven’t still decided on that (his inclusion in the travelling party). Generally, under normal protocol, we do a cardiac and lung assessment (prior to clearing a player). If we send him with the team, assuming his second PCR comes back negative, we will then have to assess him in Australia before he plays.”Sri Lanka are scheduled to play five T20Is in Australia from February 11 to 20, with the first two matches in Sydney. The action then moves to Canberra for the third game followed by Melbourne hosting the last two matches.