Moeen Ali tested positive for COVID-19 in a PCR test after landing in Sri Lanka. Ali will have to isolate himself for ten days and return with a negative result to enter the England cricket team's bio-bubble. Meanwhile, his teammate Chris Woakes came in close contact with him and will have to stay away from the squad as well.
ESPNCricinfo reported on Monday that even though the England Cricket Board initially confirmed every player had tested negative, Moeen Ali's PCR test produced a positive result. The PCR test is more accurate and takes a longer time than the lateral flow test.
Ali will likely miss the first match of the ICC World Test Championship series against Sri Lanka.
The first Test between England and Sri Lanka will start on January 14th. It is improbable that Moeen Ali will play for the visitors in the first Test. However, his isolation period will end in ten days, and a negative test after that duration will make Ali available for the second Test and the subsequent tour of India.
Amar Virdi could take Moeen Ali's place in the English squad
The England cricket team has seven standby players for the tour of Sri Lanka. However, Amar Virdi is the only off-spinner present and he could be the player to replace Moeen Ali in the squad for the first Test.
If England opt to have a leg-spinner support Dom Bess in the spin attack, Matt Parkinson or Mason Crane could receive an opportunity. The visiting side also has the option of left-arm spinner Jack Leach in the squad.Published 04 Jan 2021, 21:49 IST