England’s cricket staff abruptly pulled out of a tour of Sri Lanka on Friday over the “unprecedented” disaster brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. A apply match in Colombo was halted because the staff introduced they might be flying again to London, and the primary of two Test matches because of begin on March 19 has been indefinitely postponed. “At this time, the physical and mental wellbeing of our players and support teams is paramount,” stated an England and Wales Cricket Board assertion asserting the top of the tour.
“We will now look to bring them home to their families as soon as possible. These are completely unprecedented times, and decisions like this go beyond cricket.”
The four-day apply recreation towards a Sri Lankan Board President’s XI aspect was halted close to the top of the second day.
England have been fielding when captain Joe Root got here on to name the gamers off.
The match attracted few spectators. Only a handful of England followers and a dozen locals have been on the grounds to look at the 2 groups forward of the primary Test in Galle.
Root made it clear this week that gamers had been instructed to take further precautions and never have contact with followers or members of the opposing staff.
“It is against our nature as a team, we quite like to socialise and interact with fans and take selfies, autographs and stuff. But it means that we can’t do that on this trip,” Root instructed reporters on Wednesday.
There have been no handshakes between the groups earlier than the apply recreation.
Sri Lanka has reported simply three coronavirus circumstances because the begin of the disaster which has left greater than 4,300 lifeless world wide.
“We were told that England wants to return because of the threat of the coronavirus,” a Sri Lankan cricket official instructed AFP.
“They decided to stop the practice match immediately and get back home.”
The transfer got here as Sri Lanka shut faculties throughout the nation and banned travellers from Iran, Italy and South Korea and stopped issuing on-arrival visas to nationals of 48 international locations, together with Britain.