Stokes out of SL tour game but not due to COVID-19

COLOMBO, MARCH 13 : England all-rounder Ben Stokes has withdrawn from England’s warm-up match in Colombo due to an abdominal issue. Stokes was supposed to bat at his usual No. 5 spot against Sri Lanka President’s XI on Day One of the tour match. But he didn’t and in his place, Ollie Pope came out to bat.

Stokes pulled out of the match on the second day and was replaced by leg-spinner Matt Parkinson, reports BBC Sport.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said Stokes will “remain at the team hotel and full reports are awaited from London”. “To be clear, this is not a viral issue or linked to COVID-19,” the ECB release added.

England’s two-Test series against Sri Lanka is scheduled to start on March 19 in Galle.

As a precautionary measure against coronavirus, England players will not be making handshakes and use fist bumps. The ECB has said that the series is planned to continue, but they wish to stress that this is a highly evolving situation and circumstances are changing rapidly, sometimes several times a day.

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