Sri Lanka batting coach Grant Flower tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, 48 hours after the England squad arrived and less than a week before the home series against India .
Sri Lanka are set to face India in a six-game white ball streak starting July 13. Flower has been isolated from the rest of the team who undergo strict quarantine upon arrival.
“Sri Lanka national team batting coach Grant Flower has tested positive for COVID-19,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a statement.
“He tested positive in a PCR test performed on him today when Flower showed mild symptoms of the disease.
“Immediately after being identified, Flower was isolated from the rest of the squad members (players and coaches) who are in quarantine after returning from England,” he added.
The SLC said Flower “is currently undergoing the necessary medical protocols.”
All other quarantined players have also been tested.
Flower is a former Zimbabwe heavy hitter and was with the team in England where he lost the T20 International and ODI series.
It was not clarified how Flower got infected as he was in the team bubble and also returned by the same charter carrying the Lankan contingent.
Already, three Sri Lankan players are under investigation for violating COVID-19 protocols in the UK during the tour. They are Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis and Dhanushka Gunathilake.
The trio were seen roaming Durham outside of the squad bubble and all three were quickly sent home even before the tour was over.
The SLC has already announced a five-member investigative committee comprising Judge Nimal Dissanayaka (retired Supreme Court Judge of Sri Lanka), Panduka Keerthinanda (lawyer), Asela Rekawa (lawyer), Uchitha Wickremasinghe (Lawyer), Major General (Retd) MRW De Zoysa.
All three players have been suspended from all forms of cricket, pending investigation.
The SLC did not allow the Sri Lankan players to return home when they returned from England and it was a bubble-to-bubble transfer case for the team.
Players are in quarantine at a five-star facility here ahead of the top-tier series against India.
The series in question will help the cash-strapped council earn a handsome income from the broadcast deal.
The SLC managed to convince 29 of its top 30 players to sign a service contract that was at the center of a bitter wage dispute.
The only player who refused to sign on the dotted lines is Angelo Mathews, indicating he may even retire.