Sunday, Jan 23, 2022
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Omicron Virus Leaves Cricket On Sticky Wicket - Vernon Philander Impacted, 6 Sri Lanka Women Test COVID Positive

South Africa is worst hit by the new variant of coronavirus as Omicron leaves sportspersons in the lurch across the world. BCCI adopts wait and watch policy.

Omicron Virus Leaves Cricket On Sticky Wicket - Vernon Philander Impacted, 6 Sri Lanka Women Test COVID Positive
Former South African pacer Vernon Philander is the bowling coach of the Pakistan national cricket team. Photo: -

Omicron, the new variant of the coronavirus, is leaving its footprint on the sporting world too. Even as the world gingerly prepares for another attack of COVID, still unsure of how it will manifest itself, sportspersons are taking precautionary measures. (More Cricket News)

Six Sri Lankan women cricketers were not so lucky. They have tested positive for COVID-19 after playing in the ICC Women's World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe. It is not clear if the Lankan girls are carrying the new variant of the virus, Omicron.

Former South African pacer Vernon Philander, who is the bowling coach of the Pakistan men's national cricket team, is returning early from Bangladesh. Pakistan are currently playing a Test match in Bangladesh.

Philander will be leaving the team's bio-bubble on Day 4 of the Bangladesh vs Pakistan Test at Chattogram on Monday. According to a Pakistan Cricket Board, Philander had to change travel plans due to the "shutdown of flight operations" in South Africa and growing concerns around the new variant, Omicron.

Cricket has already been impacted in South Africa. The South Africa vs Netherlands ODI series was called off and last week and the ICC Women's ODI World Cup qualifying in nearby Zimbabwe was cancelled after Omicron broke.

The Sri Lankan women's team is still in Zimbabwe and the Sri Lanka Cricket Board is trying to bring them back. "The team is still in Zimbabwe, and we're talking with the ICC to try and get them back to Sri Lanka as soon as possible," SLC CEO Ashley de Silva has been quoted as saying.

"The players who have tested positive will have to stay there until they test negative. There is a doctor traveling with the team who will stay behind with them," De Silva added.

The widespread travel curbs has impacted other sports like rugby, golf and hockey. The junior women's hockey World Cup has been put on hold by the FIH and India's upcoming cricket series in South Africa is also under cloud due to the new variant of COVID.

The Indian men's A cricket team is currently in Bloemfontein and as of now, there are no plans to bring them back, said the BCCI.

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