Moeen Ali tests positive for Covid-19 as England arrive in Sri Lanka

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Ali enters 10-day self-isolation period and appears certain to miss first Test

Moeen Ali has tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival in Sri Lanka.

England’s touring party landed in Sri Lanka on Sunday, January 3 ahead of their two-Test series and were tested on arrival. Although the ECB initially reported that all results were negative, it has subsequently transpired that while Ali’s lateral flow test – the quicker version of the test which takes only 30-minutes or so to complete – was negative, the more accurate PCR test, which takes longer to analyse and was also carried out at the airport, was positive.

The ECB have also confirmed the result is not a false positive, though Ali is understood to be asymptomatic at this stage.

He will be required to undergo a 10-day period of self-isolation, in line with the Sri Lankan government’s quarantine protocols. England are currently staying in Hambantota, but are due to move to Galle on January 10 ahead of the first Test. Ali will be driven to new accommodation, a private hotel not in use by the rest of the team, in Galle on Tuesday January 5.

An ECB spokesperson said that it was “too early to confirm” whether Ali could play in the first Test, which starts on January 14, but with his self-isolation ending the day before, it appears certain that he will miss it. He was England’s joint highest wicket-taker (with Jack Leach) on their previous Test tour of the country in 2018.

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