English cricket team commences tour in Sri Lanka to play two test matches
The English cricket team has arrived in Sri Lanka to play two a test series against the Sri Lankan cricket team in Galle.
The arrival of the English cricket team has reportedly been widely welcomed by sports enthusiasts and Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
A special British Airways charter flight carrying 40 passengers – players and support staff had arrived at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport during the weekend.
The first test match begins on 14 January, followed by the second on 22 January and both matches will be played behind closed doors.
The British High Commission has reportedly stated that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team will remain isolated and will not be able to interact with the public.
A spokesman for the England team has told AFP that on-arrival tests had returned negative, but players will isolate themselves in rooms before another round of testing.
The England cricket board had confirmed their players and support staff had tested negative for Covid 19 prior to leaving too.
“We will be tested again on Tuesday morning,” the spokesman has been quoted as saying. “If all tests return negative on Tuesday, we will be able to train Tuesday afternoon for the first time.”
“We are very excited about the Galle Tests,” England Captain Joe Root has told a small group of cameramen allowed into the terminal for their arrival.
In a statement, England Men’s Cricket Managing Director Ashley Giles has stated, “Sri Lanka is a beautiful country. To play in Galle will be very special – it is one of the iconic venues in world cricket. The past 10 months have been uncertain for us all, but having international cricket returning to Sri Lanka will be a massive boost for cricket fans all over the world.”
British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Sarah Hulton has stated, “We welcome the England team to Sri Lanka. Cricket embodies so many great things about the people-to-people links between the UK and Sri Lanka. Cricket brings us together, connecting countries and communities, which couldn’t be more important during these unprecedented times.”
Sri Lanka Cricket has noted that the team’s hotel in Hambantota will be off limits for locals as part of quarantine regulations.
The arrival of the English cricket team in Sri Lanka soon after the arrival of several tour groups from the Ukraine is indicative of Sri Lanka being a safe travel destination. The government of Sri Lanka is looking at reopening the country’s borders towards the end of this month. Sri Lanka has been listed as a must visit destination by several leading global travel publications and has also received the safety and hygienic certification. All these have increased Sri Lanka’s appeal as a post Covid 19 travel destination. All this has increased the growth potential and expansion of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry. Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the country until the Covid 19 pandemic affected global travel. However, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry poses many potential business/investment opportunities. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore confidently explore business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
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