England will fly back from South Africa on Thursday after the two unconfirmed positive COVID-19 cases within the white-ball squad were cleared.

The one-day series against the Proteas was initially delayed and then cancelled due to positive tests within the bio-secure bubble.

A South African player and two hotel staff members were discovered to have coronavirus, forcing games scheduled for last Friday and Sunday to be postponed respectively, while there were also a pair of "unconfirmed positives" among the touring party.

However, following further testing and analysis, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed the individuals are not infected and no longer need to self-isolate.

"Following the independent ratification of the two unconfirmed positive COVID-19 tests from the England camp in South Africa, the England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that, following further testing and analysis, in the opinion of the independent virologists based in Cape Town and London, the two individuals are not infected, and do not pose any risk of passing on the infection to the rest of the party," ECB Chief Medical Officer Professor Nick Peirce said in a statement.

"As such, the advice is they are now free to join the rest of the group and are no longer self-isolating. The England party, returning to the UK, will depart Cape Town on Thursday morning."

England and South Africa did play in three Twenty20 matches prior to the scheduled 50-over games, the tourists sweeping the series 3-0.

England's ODI tour of South Africa has been called off due to concerns around coronavirus.

The opening match of the three-game series last Friday was postponed after a positive test for COVID-19 was returned in the hosts' camp.

Two "unconfirmed" positives within the England party saw the rescheduled match in Paarl cancelled just 30 minutes before its scheduled start time on Sunday.

The second ODI in Cape Town was later postponed as a precaution while players and team management went into self-isolation in their hotel rooms.

It had been hoped that back-to-back ODIs could be played at Newlands in Cape Town on Tuesday and Wednesday before the tourists returned to England on Thursday.

However, on Monday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed the tour was off "to ensure mental and physical health and welfare of players from both teams".

ECB CEO Tom Harrison said: "We have always maintained that the welfare of our players and management is paramount.

"We were concerned about the potential impact that recent developments might have on the wellbeing of the touring party, and so after consultation with Cricket South Africa [CSA], we have jointly made the decision to postpone the remaining matches in this series, in the best interest of the players' welfare.

"I would like to thank Cricket South Africa for their support and understanding on this matter and look forward to working with them to identify a time when we can return to play these fixtures in the future."

CSA acting CEO Kugandrie Govender said: "The concern over the mental health impact of recent events on all involved is not one that we as CSA or the ECB take lightly, and the decision to postpone the tour is the most responsible and reasonable course of action for us.

"I would like to thank the ECB for the continued positive relations, and we look forward to hosting the England men's team in the near future."

England won the three-match Twenty20 series between the sides 3-0.

South Africa and England have agreed to postpone Monday's second ODI in Cape Town due to continuing COVID-19 concerns.

The opening match in the three-game series was postponed on Friday after a positive test for COVID-19 in the South Africa camp.

It was rescheduled for Sunday but the game in Paarl was cancelled 30 minutes before the scheduled morning start time, and it emerged there had been two "unconfirmed" positives within the touring England party.

There had been hopes the series could start on Monday, but that will not be happening, and it remains to be seen if it can start at all.

The final two matches of the series had been due to be held in Cape Town on Monday and Wednesday. England are scheduled to fly home on Thursday.

Players and team management have been self-isolating in their hotel rooms.

In a joint statement issued on Sunday evening, CSA and the ECB said: "The second one-day international between South Africa and England, which is due to take place at Newlands, Cape Town, will now not take place on Monday 7 December.

"The decision has been taken by Cricket South Africa [CSA] and the England and Wales Cricket Board [ECB] whilst they await the outcome of the independent ratification of the two unconfirmed positive COVID-19 tests from the England camp and the continued health and wellbeing of both playing groups.

"Once the findings of this review have been received, CSA and ECB will then discuss how best to proceed concerning the remaining two matches of this ODI series."

England won the three-match T20 series between the sides 3-0.

The opening ODI of the series between South Africa and England has been abandoned after two members of the tourists' squad returned unconfirmed positive COVID-19 tests.

Initially scheduled to get under way in Cape Town on Friday, the series was delayed because of a positive test in the South Africa camp.

The first match was moved to Sunday, but proceedings in Paarl never got going as the game was called off 30 minutes before it was due to start.

Earlier the ECB had confirmed the match had been delayed pending the results of additional PCR tests, which players and staff underwent on Saturday after the positive tests by two members of staff at their hotel.

A statement confirming the abandonment read: "The decision was taken after two hotel staff members testing positive for COVID-19.

"As a precaution, the England players and management underwent an additional round of PCR tests on Saturday evening.

"Following the test results, two members of the England touring party have returned unconfirmed positive tests for COVID-19. The players and management are now self-isolating in their rooms until further advice from the medical teams. 

"The medical advice from both CSA and ECB is that the match cannot take place. A decision on the remaining matches in the series will be taken once the results of the tests are ratified independently by medical experts."

The final two matches of the series are due to be held in Cape Town on Monday and Wednesday. England are scheduled to fly home on Thursday.

"We regret that we are unable to play in today’s ODI, but the welfare of the players and support staff is our primary concern and whilst we await the results of further tests the medical advice from both teams was that this game should not take place," said England director of men's cricket Ashley Giles.

"We remain in constant dialogue with Cricket South Africa and will continue to work closely with them to determine how best to move forward."

England won the three-match T20 series between the sides 3-0.

 

England's opening one-day international against South Africa on Friday has been postponed after a player from the host team tested positive for coronavirus.

Eoin Morgan's side had been due to play the Proteas in the first of three ODIs at Newlands but the match was called off an hour before play was due to start.

The first fixture will now take place on Sunday at Boland Park, with the second and third ODIs at Newlands next Monday and Wednesday respectively.

A statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board said: "The ECB and Cricket South Africa have announced the postponement of the first one-day International of the three-match series to Sunday, December 6.

"This decision results from a player from the Proteas team testing positive for COVID-19 after the teams’ last round of scheduled testing performed on Thursday ahead of the ODIs.

"In the interests of the safety and well-being of both teams, match officials and all involved in the match, the acting chief executive of CSA, Kugandrie Govender as well as the chief executive of the ECB, Tom Harrison, have agreed to postpone the first fixture to Sunday."

England beat South Africa 3-0 in the recent three-match T20 series.

David Warner is in doubt for the upcoming Test series against India after withdrawing from the remainder of Australia's limited-overs matches.

Warner suffered a groin strain as Australia clinched an ODI series victory over India thanks to Sunday's 51-run win in Sydney.

The Australia star has returned home to begin rehabilitation ahead of the opening day-night Test in Adelaide on December 17.

Warner will miss Wednesday's third and final ODI in Canberra, as well as the three-game Twenty20 series – D'Arcy Short the batsman's replacement.

Pat Cummins, who has no injury concerns, will also sit out the short-format games, though no replacement has been called up for the paceman.

"Pat and Davie are critical to our plans for the Test series," said Australia head coach Justin Langer.

"Davie will work through his injury rehab and in Pat's case it is important all of our players are managed well to keep them mentally and physically fit throughout what is a challenging summer.

"The priority for both is being fully prepared for one of the biggest and most important home Test series we have played in recent years, especially with World Test Championship points up for grabs."

Australia recorded their biggest ODI score at the SCG after reaching 389-4, the country's second highest overall on home soil, as Steve Smith posted a 62-ball century.

It was the highest total conceded by India in an ODI away from home – four of the five highest totals conceded have come at the hands of Australia, with three in Sydney.

Steve Smith smashed another 62-ball hundred as Australia's cruised to victory over India in the second ODI at the SCG to clinch the series.

Smith was in blistering form in the first match on Friday as he scored Australia's third-fastest ODI century.

He replicated that remarkable performance to help the hosts post their best ODI score at the SCG, their second-highest overall on home soil, the hosts reaching 389-4.

Virat Kohli (89) led the way for India in their pursuit of a mammoth target, but the India captain's efforts proved in vain as the tourists fell 51 runs short.

David Warner and Aaron Finch laid the platform for Australia with an opening stand of 142, having combined for their team's highest opening stand of 156 in the opening game.

Skipper Finch was caught at extra cover for 60 before Warner was run out for 83 after making the ill-advised decision to push for a second that Shreyas Iyer punished.

But it was Smith (104) who again proved the talisman for Australia, racking up 14 fours and a pair of sixes in a destructive innings.

He and Marnus Labuschagne (70) put on 136 for the third wicket, though Smith was dismissed two deliveries after reaching three figures – edging Hardik Pandya to short third man.

Glenn Maxwell struck four fours and four sixes in his 29-ball 63 to push Australia towards a score India rarely had any hope of besting.

A groin injury suffered by Warner, who was sent to hospital for scans, was the primary setback for Australia as they defended their total.

Kohli and Iyer steadied the ship for India after they were reduced to 60-2 by putting on 93.

However, Iyer fell victim to a tremendous diving catch from Smith at midwicket. After a partnership of 72 with KL Rahul (76), Kohli was undone in similar fashion courtesy of a stunner from Moises Henriques.

India's lower-order faltered after Rahul was caught at short third man, leaving the tourists with nothing but pride to play for in Wednesday's third ODI.

Steve Smith smashed Australia's third-fastest ODI century and Aaron Finch also made a sublime hundred as India were consigned to a 66-run defeat in the first match of the series.

Smith struck a sensational 105 from just 66 balls and Finch crafted 114 in Australia's massive total of 374-6 - their biggest against India in the 50-over format.

David Warner (69) also made the tourists suffer, while Glenn Maxwell bludgeoned 45 from only 19 balls in Australia's second-highest ODI total at the SCG.

Mohammed Shami (3-59) was comfortably the pick of the India bowlers on a painful Friday afternoon in the field.

Hardik Pandya struck a superb 90 and Shikhar Dhawan made 74, but India, returning to action for the first time since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, fell short on 308-8 in reply.

Josh Hazlewood (3-55) and Adam Zampa (4-54) did the damage with the ball for Australia as they started their summer in style to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.


FINCH AND WARNER MAKE HISTORY

Finch and Warner combined for the highest opening stand for Australia in an ODI at the SCG, their 156 surpassing the record of 152 set by Geoff Marsh and David Boon in 1986.

Shami finally got the breakthrough in the 28th over, snaring Warner caught behind after Virat Kohli reviewed, but Finch and Smith dished out more punishment, putting on 108 in just 12 overs.

The brilliant Finch struck two sixes and another nine fours in his fourth ODI century against India, a tally only Ricky Ponting has bettered with six, before the skipper became Jasprit Bumrah's only victim.

SENSATIONAL SMITH AND MAXWELL GO BESERK

While Finch uncharacteristically scored at less than a run a ball, Smith raced to a magnificent hundred which he reached off 62 balls.

Smith failed to hit the heights during the recent Indian Premier League but produced a disdainful knock as he dispatched the tourists' attack to all parts - Yuzvendra Chahal (1-89) conceding the most runs by an India spinner in an ODI.

The imperious Smith hit four sixes and 11 fours as he put on a show along with Maxwell, who treated the crowd to some astonishing innovative strokes in an explosive innings.

HAZLEWOOD AND ZAMPA DERAIL INDIA CHASE

India's run chase got off to a blistering start, Mitchell Starc conceding 20 off an 11-ball first over, but they were struggling on 101-4 in the 14th over - Kohli making just 21 after he was dropped by Zampa on one.

Hazlewood had Kohli caught by Finch at midwicket and the quick also saw the back of Mayank Agarwal and Shreyas Iyer.

Dhawan - dropped by Maxwell on 41 - and Pandya - playing as a specialist batsman - gave India hope with a fifth-wicket stand of 128, but spinner Zampa removed both in quick succession and got rid of Ravindra Jadeja in an ultimately comfortable win for Australia.

Aaron Finch hailed Virat Kohli as "probably the best one-day player of all time" as Australia prepare to face India in an eagerly awaited ODI series.

India have not been in action since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but their wait will come to an end at the SCG on Friday.

Australia should be confident after beating world champions 2-1 in the 50-over format in September and both sides will welcome being able to play in front of crowds.

Kohli headed to Australia on the back of being the ninth-highest run-scorer in the Indian Premier League and Australia captain Finch has lavished praise on his opposite number ahead of the three-match series.

"If you look at his record, it's second to none. It really is remarkable," said Finch, who also featured in the IPL. "What we have to keep in mind is that we have to keep looking to get him out.

"When you go away from that and you look to contain players, you can miss a trick. He's probably the best one-day player of all time, so it's about sticking to our plans and being really committed in that regard."

Kohli will be looking not only for a series victory, but also to consolidate his status as the top-ranked ODI batsman in the world in the absence of his injured team-mate Rohit Sharma.

India paceman Jasprit Bumrah, meanwhile, could regain top spot in the bowler rankings, as he only trails New Zealand's Trent Boult by three points.

The two sides, who will wear black armbands in tribute to late Australia great Dean Jones, will be playing for ICC Cricket World Cup Super League points.

 

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS FOR AGARWAL

A hamstring injury sustained during the IPL means there will be no Rohit at the top of the India order, so Mayank Agarwal looks set to partner Shikhar Dhawan.

Agarwal failed to show what he is capable of when India were whitewashed by New Zealand in February.

The 29-year-old was in good touch during the IPL, though, scoring 424 runs at an average of 38.54 and making a century for Kings XI against Rajasthan Royals.

KL Rahul is likely to come in down the order, given he will take up the role of wicketkeeper-batsman.

 

WARNER TO MAKE HAY AT HAPPY HUNTING GROUND?

Australia have a formidable recent record at the SCG, winning 11 of their previous 13 ODIs at the famous venue.

They have also come out on top in all but two of their previous 16 encounters with India at the Sydney fortress.

India's last ODI victory over Australia at the venue came in January 2016 and dismissing David Warner cheaply may be key to repeating that feat.

The opener has an ODI average of 57.2 at the SCG, higher than any other player in the men's game from 10 innings or more. Warner has scored two hundreds and a half-century in his last five knocks at the venue.

 

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Kohli is 133 runs away from becoming only the sixth man to record 12,000 in ODIs. 
- India have won 12 of their last 18 ODIs against Australia, including the previous two.
- The tourists have won five of their last seven bilateral ODI series versus Australia, including a 2-1 win in the most recent series on Australian soil early last year.
- Finch is just 17 shy of becoming the 16th Australian to score 5,000 ODI runs. He has not been dismissed for a single-figure total in any of his last 10 ODI knocks.
- Mohammed Shami (50) has taken more ODI wickets since the beginning of 2019 than any other player; Australia duo Adam Zampa and Pat Cummins (43 each) are joint-second.

Paceman Kagiso Rabada has compared South Africa's bio-secure environments to "luxury prisons" but says it is important they retain perspective about their privilege. 

The South Africa squad are staying in carefully controlled accommodation ahead of their Twenty20 international series against England amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

While Rabada admits it has proved challenging, he says he is constantly reminding himself of the fortunate position he and his team-mates find themselves in. 

"It can be quite tough," he told ESPNcricinfo. "You can't interact. You've basically lost your freedom. 

"It's almost like luxury prisons we are in. But we have to remind ourselves that we are fortunate.

"People have lost their jobs, people are struggling at the moment, so we must be grateful for the opportunity we have been given to make some money and to do what we love.

"And we don't get treated too badly. We stay in great hotels. We get the best food. It's like a spoilt kid not getting what they want at the candy store. It can be quite tough because you are surrounded by four walls the whole time and that can be a factor mentally.

"But just remind yourself of all the good things that are happening and once we start playing, it will take away from the desolate times."

Rabada has recently returned to South Africa after an impressive stint in the Indian Premier League, where he finished as the top wicket-taker. 

That followed a long period in his home country without playing cricket, having spent most of 2020 in some form of lockdown imposed by the South African government. 

Rabada says the break helped him reset both physically and mentally but does not expect to have similar periods off in the future. 

"The break helped to refresh the body and to take the mind off of a lot of things," he added. "But I don't know if long extended breaks will happen in future because cricket is getting more and more. 

"I'm not sure how much of it is due to a long break, but I don't think it will happen a lot in the future. I don't think we will get breaks that long unless we get Covid-20."

The three-match Twenty20 series starts in Cape Town on Friday, while the Proteas and England will also contest a three-match ODI series after competing in the shortest format.

South Africa will not take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement during their limited-overs series against England, head coach Mark Boucher has confirmed.

The Proteas will be in action for the first time since March when they host England in three Twenty20 matches and a trio of ODIs from November 27.

South Africa's elite cricketers wore Black Lives Matter armbands and took a knee prior to a 36-over charity match branded 3TeamCricket in July – the first live game in the country after the sport was placed on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Flags will fly at half-mast during the opening T20 at Newlands and the second match at Boland Park to coincide with five days of national mourning for victims of COVID-19 from November 25 to 29 declared by South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Boucher said the Proteas will not take a knee versus England because they hope to aid the fight against racism through lived experience instead of such gestures.

"I have spoken to the guy [Lungi Ngidi] who was driving the whole movement within our set-up, he is pretty happy that we have done what we needed to do, in particular at that [3TC] game," said Boucher.

"There are a couple of other issues that our president has raised going forward with regards to gender-based violence and the victims of COVID. We are going to be addressing this with the team so if there is a black armband to wear, we will probably be wearing it because of the president's call.

"It's an ongoing thing for us. It's not something that we have to continue to show, it's something that you have to live. That is exactly what we are trying to doing our dressing room at the moment with a big squad.

"If the guys who brought it up are happy with it, that's great, but if they feel we have to do more, that will be a chat and they are open to express their opinions.

"Our new value system is about respect, empathy and belonging and all of those lead to an environment where guys feel free and open to talk about these hard issues.

"They've certainly got the support and respect and empathy from every other player."

Cricket South Africa confirmed on Wednesday that three members of the squad were self-isolating after a player tested positive for COVID-19 prior to entering a bio-secure environment in Cape Town.

Three members of the South Africa squad are self-isolating after one player tested positive for coronavirus ahead of the Twenty20 International series against England.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Wednesday revealed an unnamed Proteas player returned a positive COVID-19 test prior to entering a bio-secure environment in Cape Town.

He was placed in immediate isolation along with two team-mates, who were considered to have come into close contact with the player based on the risk assessment undertaken by the medical team.

The trio are asymptomatic and will be monitored by CSA's medical team as South Africa prepare for a three-match T20 series, which starts at Newlands on November 27.

A CSA statement said: "Cricket South Africa [CSA] can confirm that approximately 50 COVID-19 PCR tests were performed on players and support staff prior to entering the Bio-Safe Environment in Cape Town for their upcoming limited-overs tour against England. The testing is in line with fulfilling the organisation's obligation and commitment to its duty of care to its team and to the broader public in controlling the spread of the virus. 

"One player has returned a positive test result and two players were considered close contacts based on the risk assessment undertaken by the medical team. All three players have been placed in immediate isolation in Cape Town as part of the COVID-19 protocols. While all players are asymptomatic, CSA's medical team will monitor them to ensure their health and well-being. 

"At this stage, none of these players will be replaced for the tour, but two replacement players will be included into the squad for the purposes of the inter-squad practice matches that will be played on Saturday, 21 November 2020."

The Proteas and England will contest a three-match ODI series after competing in the shortest format.

Uncapped seamer Glenton Stuurman has been named in South Africa's white-ball squads to face England.

Stuurman, 28, was on Friday among given a first international call-up for three Twenty20 matches and as many ODIs across November and December.

Paceman Kagiso Rabada would have missed an ODI series against India that ended up being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic due to a groin injury but will face Eoin Morgan's side.

Fellow quick Junior Dala is also fit again and has been included in a 24-man squad.

The Proteas and Eoin Morgan's side start the T20 series behind closed doors at Newlands on November 27 and the first ODI will be staged on December 4.

Newly appointed convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang said: "We're very excited to be announcing this squad.

"With the bio-secure environment where movement in and out of the squad will be limited, we had to make sure that we have all our bases covered with the 24 players.

"It also gives the team the opportunity to play some intra-squad games just to make sure that they sharpen up those white-ball skills before the series start."

 

South Africa squad:

Quinton de Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Faf du Plessis, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Janneman Malan, David Miller,  Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, JJ Smuts, Glenton Stuurman, Pite van Biljon, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne.

Blessing Muzarabani produced a sensational performance as Zimbabwe avoided an ODI whitewash at the hands of Pakistan with a Super Over victory in Rawalpindi. 

Pakistan already held an unassailable lead in the three-match series after the opening two fixtures, but Muzarabani ensured the tourists have something to celebrate as he starred with the ball. 

Zimbabwe set Pakistan 279 for victory, Sean Williams hitting an unbeaten 118 as Brendan Taylor (56) struck a half-century and Wesley Madhevere (33 off 31) and Sikandar Raza (45 off 36) produced efficient contributions. 

Mohammad Hasnain's 5-26 had helped restrict Zimbabwe but Muzarabani answered in kind, his five-for ensuring Pakistan finished their innings tied on 278-9. 

The key wicket came in the penultimate over, Muzarabani removing home captain Babar Azam, who scored a run-a-ball 125, by drawing an edge with the final delivery of his 10-over allocation. 

Pakistan needed 13 off the 50th over but, minus Babar, could only manage 12, with a final-ball four from Muhammad Musa forcing a Super Over in which Muzarabani proved decisive. 

He took the wickets of Iftikhar Ahmed and Khushdil Shah in the space of four balls to restrict Pakistan to two runs, with Taylor and Raza securing the win with just three balls of Zimbabwe's reply.

 

 

Iftikhar Ahmed's five-wicket haul and a fine display from Babar Azam inspired Pakistan in a dominant six-wicket victory over Zimbabwe to clinch their one-day series after two matches.

Iftikhar (5-40) had not bowled at all in the first ODI – a 26-run win – and his sole prior international wicket in this format came in his 2015 debut against England.

But in the absence of rested paceman Wahab Riaz, who took four wickets in the previous match, the off-spinner was handed the ball on Sunday and took full advantage.

Debutant Muhammad Musa (2-21) also made an early contribution with the dismissal of Craig Ervine, yet it was Iftikhar who intervened each time Zimbabwe started to build momentum.

The 30-year-old took his five wickets in succession, starting with dangermen Brendan Taylor (36) and finishing with Sean Williams (75).

Musa then brought the innings to a close as Carl Mumba's departure saw Zimbabwe all out for 206 in the 46th over, teeing up a routine Pakistan chase.

Tendai Chisoro (2-49) belatedly slowed the hosts as he removed both openers, but that brought Babar to the crease and the Pakistan skipper excelled.

Babar finished unbeaten on 77 off 74 balls, a steady but effective innings that finished with a flourish as he found the long-off fence with 88 balls still remaining.

The captain propelled Pakistan to 208-4 having also earlier helped Haider Ali – another debutant – through his first 29 runs at this level.

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