Grant Flower faces inquiry over virus bubble breach


Sri Lanka’s cricket board is planning disciplinary action against batting coach Grant Flower following allegations that he breached a bio-secure bubble during an England tour, cricket sources said Thursday.

Sri Lanka’s preparations for a home series against India were disrupted when Flower, 50, tested positive for COVID-19 on his return to the national team on 6 July. 

Three Sri Lankan players, including vice-captain Kusal Mendis, were sent home early after they left the team’s bio-secure hotel for a night out in Durham ahead of the first one-day international.

Official sources said Sri Lanka Cricket will investigate reports that Flower also breached the COVID-19 restrictions.

“An inquiry will be held after he (Flower) recovers fully,” a board source told AFP. “There are allegations that he also breached the bio-secure bubble.” 

Media reports said the board was also unhappy with the performance of Flower, a former Zimbabwe Test player who is under contract until the end of the year.

Sri Lanka are eighth in the Test team rankings and ninth in one-day formats and team morale is reportedly low. The players have been at loggerheads with the board over new performance-linked contracts.

The board has brought in local coach Dhammika Sudarshana as a temporary replacement for Flower for three one-day games and three Twenty20 matches against India starting Sunday.

The India matches were delayed by five days to 18 July following positive tests of Flower and a team’s data analyst.