Keegan Petersen, the hero of South Africa’s home Test series win over India, was on Wednesday ruled out of their tour of New Zealand after testing positive for Covid-19, dealing a blow to the team’s prospects.
The batter has been replaced by Zubayr Hamza.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) said in a statement that Peterson was doing “well” and is “asymptomatic”.
“Cricket South Africa’s medical team will keep in close contact with him to ensure his physical and mental well-being,” the statement read.
The Proteas will depart South Africa for New Zealand on Wednesday.
In the preceding three-match Test series against a formidable Indian side, the 28-year-old Petersen topped the run charts with 276 runs from six innings at an average of 46.00.
He was the only player to score three half-centuries in the series, registering scores of 72, 82 and 62, while also impressing with his fielding skills.
South Africa lost the first Test by 113 runs in Centurion, before fighting back strongly with successive seven-wicket victories in Johannesburg and Cape Town to claim the series.
South Africa are scheduled to play two Tests in New Zealand, starting February 17.
Meanwhile, according to a report in Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand captain and its premier batter Kane Williamson is likely to miss the Tests against South Africa as he continues his rehabilitation from an elbow injury.
The New Zealand squad for the two Tests is expected to be named later this week.