Johannesburg: Two players have been withdrawn from South Africa's squad for the Test series against Sri Lanka after testing positive for Covid-19, Cricket South Africa announced on Friday.
The players, who were not named, will be isolated with immediate effect and will take no part in the series.
The positive results came after tests conducted on Wednesday and Thursday.
The announcement came after three players were added to the squad for the first Test, which starts in Centurion on 26 December. The squad, now consisting of 17 players, will assemble in Pretoria on Saturday.
The players will enter a bio-secure environment in which they will remain until the end of the series.
CSA confirms that two members of the #Proteas team have returned positive COVID-19 results following their scheduled first round of testing ahead of the team’s entry into the Bio-Secure Environment for the #BetwayTest series against Sri Lanka. #SAvSL #SeeUsOnThePitch pic.twitter.com/aJxgyqjvpD
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) December 18, 2020
According to a statement from Cricket South Africa on Friday, the additions were part of a plan "to integrate more players" following the latest round of four-day domestic matches.
Batsman Raynard van Tonder, fast bowler Lutho Sipamla and all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius are the extra players.
Van Tonder and Sipamla are among 12 members of an expanded squad who played in two matches earlier in the week during which several individuals reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. One of the matches was abandoned after one day on Sunday.
According to CSA's statement, "no other players in the currently named squad were deemed close contacts after contact tracing procedures were conducted".
Pretorius was not considered for the original squad because of a hamstring injury but according to the CSA has made "great progress".
Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada remains unavailable because of injury.
Expanded South Africa squad:
Quinton de Kock (c), Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Sarel Erwee, Beuran Hendricks, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Keegan Petersen, Dwaine Pretorius, Migael Pretorius, Lutho Sipamla, Glenton Stuurman, Rassie van der Dussen, Raynard van Tonder, Kyle Verreynne.
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Click here to follow LIVE scorecard of the second Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka at Johannesburg.
South Africa won by 10 wickets after Sri Lanka were bowled out for 211 in their second innings. Set to make 67 runs to win, the hosts sealed their victory half an hour after lunch.
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