The England cricket team are currently on a tour to Sri Lanka to play a two-match Test series between March 19 and March 31. However, amidst the rising worldwide panic caused by the highly-contagious Coronavirus, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed that the tour has been called off. The news came on the aftermath when two Corona-affected cases emerged in the island nation.
The news comes a day after the ECB revealed that the tour is scheduled to go ahead as planned. The ECB earlier discussed the matter with England’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office to take a call on the tour. The decision has been taken despite the fact that Sri Lanka is one of the least affected nations in the world when it comes to coronavirus, with just 2 confirmed cases of people testing positive across the country.
Before engaging in the much-anticipated ‘SL vs ENG’ series, England were engaged with Sri Lanka Board President's XI in two warm-up games. Under the leadership of Joe Root, England drew the opening three-day match at the FTZ Sports Complex in Katunayake between March 7 and 9. The four-day match that followed was called off after Day 2 itself following the possibility of the news of the tour being postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. England captain Joe Root starred in the four-day match with a classy 102 from 139 balls.
Apart from the impending ‘SL vs ENG’ series, the worldwide panic caused by Coronavirus has already impacted many sporting events around the globe. In cricket, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently announced the series between India and South Africa to be played in empty stadiums. Moreover, the much-anticipated Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) season has been postponed with a launch date of April 15 instead of the earlier planned March 29.
Coronavirus Update: The England tour team in Sri Lanka has put in place several precautions.— England and Wales Cricket Board (@ECB_cricket) March 11, 2020