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Australia, Sri Lanka contemplate shifting SA series to home

Cape Town: Following the cancellation of the ODI leg of England's tour of South Africa due to issues related to Covid-19, Australia and Sri Lanka may decide not to tour the country for their forthcoming series.

While Australia are considering playing their away three-Test series against South Africa early next year at home in Perth, Sri Lanka too are contemplating shifting their two-Test series, beginning later this month, to the island nation. Sri Lanka do not want their home series against England, which begins just 10 days after their return home from South Africa, to get affected.

As per the schedule for World Test Championship, Australia were to face South Africa in the three Tests in South Africa between February 14 and March 13. It is an important series for the Proteas who are languishing at eighth position in the World Test Championship with 24 points. Australia are second on the table.

According to a report in ESPNCricinfo. com, there have been talks between Cricket South Africa and Cricket Australia on playing the series in Australia, given that conditions in the two countries are similar with regard to pace and bounce on the pitches.

Sri Lanka Cricket, meanwhile, have the pressure of bringing all their players from South Africa safe and sound.

Sri Lanka's team physician, Daminda Attanayake, told the website, "I have to bring the (Sri Lankan) players back from South Africa without a single positive case. We've requested (South Africa's) protocols be identical to the bio-bubble protocols we have been using for the LPL (Lanka Premier League). We've been successful with those. Players have tested positive but they've been isolated. We're requesting these protocols be followed not just by our team, but theirs as well."

Attanayake added that SLC medical staff will ask that even the cleaning staff in the hotels the teams are staying at be placed in the bubble, so that the virus cannot be brought in from outside.

Sri Lanka Cricket on Wednesday confirmed that the two-Test home series against England, postponed in March due to Covid-19 pandemic, has been rescheduled to January 2021. The first Test will be played between January 14-18 and the second Test will be played between January 22-26.