England all-rounder Moeen Ali to remain in quarantine and expected to miss whole of Test series against Sri Lanka; Dom Bess and Jack Leash set be England’s frontline spinners in Ali’s absence; watch first Test from 4am on Thursday on Sky Sports Cricket
England all-rounder Moeen Ali will not leave his coronavirus quarantine on Wednesday as previously planned and is now highly unlikely to play any part the Test series against Sri Lanka.
Moeen tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival into Sri Lanka and was told to isolate for 10 days, with England later confirming he would play no part in the first Test in Galle from Thursday.
The 33-year-old is feeling better but his quarantine period is now being extended with the Sri Lankan government being extremely cautious with regards to coronavirus cases.
The England and Wales Cricket Board are understood to be sympathetic to the decision and now expect Moeen to be allowed out of his private accommodation around the weekend.
Sri Lanka vs England
January 14, 2021, 4:00am
Speaking earlier in the week, England head coach Chris Silverwood said: “Moeen is in good spirits – as good as he can be. He is feeling okay in himself and from a physical point of view.
“We are all looking forward to having Mo back in the camp with us and seeing him. He is getting a lot of support – I know the lads are constantly messaging him and checking in on him, as are our medical team.”
Due to the off-spinner’s time in isolation, the ECB does not expect him to be match sharp in time for the second Test, also in Galle, from Friday, January 22 but will make a call on him in due course.
Dom Bess and Jack Leach are set to play as England’s frontline spinners against Sri Lanka, although Mason Crane, Matt Parkinson and Amar Virdi are also options having travelled with the squad as official reserves.
Watch the first Test between Sri Lanka and England, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 4am on Thursday.