Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali
File Photo

England all-rounder Moeen Ali has tested positive for COVID-19 upon his arrival at the Hambantota airport in Sri Lanka, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement.

"Following PCR tests administered on arrival at the airport in Hambantota on Sunday 3rd January, the England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that Moeen Ali has tested positive for COVID-19. Ali will now observe a period of 10-days self-isolation, in accordance with the Sri Lanka Government’s protocol on quarantine," the ECB statement read.

Meanwhile, all-rounder Chris Woakes has been deemed Ali's possible close contact. Woakes will have to observe a period of self-isolation and further testing, said the ECB. "The touring party will be PCR tested for a second time on Tuesday morning. At this stage, the team will train for the first time on Wednesday," the ECB further added.

England Test squad led by skipper Joe Root had arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday ahead of the upcoming two-match Test series, beginning January 14. Besides, all members of England's touring party had tested negative for coronavirus before departure.

Earlier, England Test skipper Joe Root said that rotation of players will be an integral part of cricket's new phase amid the coronavirus scare. The coronavirus pandemic had put a full stop to all sporting activities before the England-West Indies series marked the resumption of international cricket in July last year.

"You look at the amount of cricket on this coming tour and it's unrealistic for everyone to get through the whole thing. Rotation and rest are going to be an integral part of managing this next phase of games," ESPNcricinfo quoted Root as saying.

Ahead of the Test series against Sri Lanka, England had also appointed former South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis as their batting consultant.

After Sri Lanka, England will lock horns in a four-match Test series against India slated to begin from February 5 in Chennai. Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes who have been rested for the Sri Lanka series will be returning for England in the red-ball series against India.

England Test Squad: Joe Root(c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Reserves: James Bracey, Mason Crane, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Robinson, Amar Virdi.

(With IANS inputs)

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