Beginning July 18, India and Sri Lanka will play three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals each. The first episode of the series was supposed to air on July 13. However, due to two COVID cases in the Lankan, Sri Lanka Cricket was forced to postpone the start by five days.
The BCCI’s secretary, Jay Shah, confirmed the news to ANI. Meanwhile, according to ESPNCricinfo, the ODIs will be played on July 18, 21, and 23, with the T20Is following on July 25, 27, and 29. All matches would be held at Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium.
The delay is the result of recent COVID cases in the Lanka camp. GT Niroshan, the host’s data analyst, and batting coach Grant Flower both tested positive for COVID. While both men have been moved to a separate facility, the Lanka team is required to isolate Niroshan for three more days because he tested positive for the Delta variant.
The Lankan team was supposed to enter the bubble on Friday. It would, however, be subjected to new RT-PCR tests, after which players with negative results would be permitted to play. Meanwhile, SLC has a couple of other groups of players in Colombo and Dambulla who could fill in for the current squad.
Lanka, by the way, returned from a limited-overs tour of England last week. In addition, SLC faced the challenge of tying down its players to an annual contract. While the majority of the players refused to sign the contract, they did sign a tour-exclusive contract with England, and the same is true for the India series. Due to a contract dispute, SLC appointed Dasun Shanaka as captain instead of Kusal Perera.