Monday 4 January 2021 1:30 pm

England cricketer Moeen Ali tests positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Sri Lanka

England cricketer Moeen Ali has tested positive for Covid-19 following the team’s arrival in Sri Lanka.

Moeen must now quarantine for 10 days, meaning he is unlikely to feature in the first Test on 14 January.

Team-mate Chris Woakes must also self-isolate and undergo further tests, having been deemed a close contact of Moeen.

Read more: Major League Cricket: Silicon Valley and Bollywood’s grand plan to make America fall in love with T20

England arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday and are due to play two Test matches in Galle this month.

A spokesperson said: “Following PCR tests administered on arrival at the airport in Hambantota on Sunday 3 January, the England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that Moeen Ali has tested positive for Covid-19.

“Ali will now observe a period of 10-days self-isolation, in accordance with the Sri Lanka Government’s protocol on quarantine.

“Chris Woakes has been deemed as a possible close contact, and he will observe a period of self-isolation and further testing.

“The touring party will be PCR tested for a second time on Tuesday morning. At this stage, the team will train for the first time on Wednesday.”

Will England’s tour be cancelled again?

All England players, including all-rounder Moeen, returned negative Covid-19 tests before departing for Sri Lanka by chartered flight.

They were tested again and sprayed with disinfectant on arrival to the island on Sunday.

Players and staff are due be tested once more on Tuesday and are staying in individual hotel rooms for the time being.

This tour has already been postponed once, having been due to begin in March last year.

The England team were already in Sri Lanka when the matches were called off due to the pandemic.

Moeen is the first England player to test positive for the virus.

Captain Joe Root indicated last week that he did not expect the current tour to be cancelled again if there were only one or two cases.

England’s tour to South Africa was curtailed last month after an outbreak at their Cape Town hotel.

Two members of the England camp tested positive, but they were later found to be false positives.