Proteas captain Quinton de Kock says he and his team-mates felt a responsibility to ensure future tours of South Africa can take place by strictly adhering to Covid-19 protocols.
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Speaking during a virtual press conference on Monday, De Kock said the South African team were remaining in quarantine in a ‘bio-bubble’ facility outside Pretoria ahead of their two-Test series against Sri Lanka starting in nearby Centurion on Saturday.
PROTEAS PLAYERS ARE ADHERING TO STRICT PROTOCOLS
Players are adhering to a strict regime of room service meals, social distancing and training in small groups pending a Covid-19 test on Tuesday.
Both teams are staying in the same country club facility, but De Kock said there was no direct contact.
“We can see them but we have our own boundaries and we can’t mingle.”
The teams will stay at the same venue for the Tests in Centurion and Johannesburg (from January 3-7), with both grounds within driving distance.
It is South Africa’s second experience of life in a bio-secure ‘bubble’ following the ill-fated white-ball series against England which was called off early because of positive coronavirus tests, which were later found to be false positives.
Although Sri Lanka arrived in South Africa last weekend for the Test matches, doubts remain regarding Australia fulfilling a planned Test series in South Africa early next year.
PROTEAS SQUAD WILL BE TESTED AGAIN
The South Africans assembled on Saturday and were immediately tested for the coronavirus. All tests came back negative, but De Kock said full training would only start after the results of Tuesday’s second round of tests were received.
“Obviously we’ve got that bit of responsibility but it’s not much you can’t handle,” said De Kock.
“It’s just a small part we can play in ensuring future tours in bubble life and Covid times.”
The South African squad was reduced from 19 to 17 players when two tested positive for Covid-19 last week.
A team spokesperson said the names could not be released for medical and labour relations reasons, but that a new squad list would be announced after the next round of Covid-19 tests, which will enable deductions to be made about who is missing.
SOUTH AFRICA SQUAD:
Quinton de Kock (captain), 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