Sri Lanka shredded as three players test positive

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Sri Lanka’s team for the second Test against Australia has been thrown into a state of chaos with three more players testing positive to COVID-19.

Allrounder Dhananjaya de Silva, quick Asitha Fernando and legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay have all gone down with the virus after officials confirmed they had tested positive on Wednesday.

The trio will miss the second Test in Galle, just days after back-up spinner Praveen Jayawickrama also tested positive.

Sri Lanka’s outbreak began when veteran Angelo Mathews was substituted out of the first Test with COVID, with the case numbers since growing to five.

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Mathews has since been released from isolation and will play on Friday, while all other Sri Lanka players have since been tested and returned negative results.

Dhananjaya de Silva of Sri Lanka bats.

Dhananjaya de Silva of Sri Lanka bats during day one of the first Test against Australia. (Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)

Australia are staying in the same hotel as the Sri Lanka team, but are keeping their distance and at this point have had no positive tests on the tour.

Australian players are tested daily outside of matches, while rapid tests are only taken when players feel ill during a Test match.

The final round of those pre-match rapids were due to be taken at around lunchtime in Galle.

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Sri Lanka earlier this week called spinners Maheesh Theekshana and Dunith Wellalage into their squad among five reinforcements.

The young duo are now every chance to debut in Galle, with the pair seen as the future of Sri Lankan spin.

Left-arm wrist-spinner Lakshan Sandakan also remains another option for the hosts after being drafted in, with chief spinner Lasith Embuldeniya axed after the first Test.

The latest outs come as a big blow to the hosts, who were flogged by 10 wickets inside two-and-a-bit days in the first Test.


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