The Indian cricket team in England enjoyed a free couple of weeks away from the bio-bubble. While a few were seen spending quality time with families, a few others treated themselves to other sporting events like Wimbledon and the Euro 2020. The likes of R Ashwin used the break to concentrate on the English tour with an impressive County game for Surrey. However, in the said period of time, multiple Indians were tested positive for Covid19 and are currently in isolation. A couple of others said to be in close contact with the affected, are also put into quarantine ahead of the all-important series.
Rishabh Pant and India’s throwdown specialist Dayanand Garani were tested positive for the Covid19 virus. While the wicketkeeper-batsman came out positive on July 8 outside of the team hotel, the Indian support staff member at the hotel was infected in the RT-PCR on July 14. Though asymptomatic, both of them have been put into strict isolation for a minimum of 10 days. Three others from the Indian contingent, keeper Wriddhiman Saha, bowling coach Bharat Arun and stand-by player Abhimanyu Easwaran, deemed to be in close contact with Garani have also been put under strict quarantine in their room in the London hotel. Needless to say, all of the five members are set to miss India’s practice game against County XI at Emirates Riverside in Durham starting Tuesday. KL Rahul is expected to don the keeping duties for the game.
“Pant, who had not stayed in the team hotel during the break period, tested positive on 8th July. He is asymptomatic and currently undergoing self-isolation at the place where he reported positive. He is being closely monitored by the BCCI Medical Team and is on his way to recovery. He will be able to join the squad in Durham after returning two negative RT-PCR tests,” read the BCCI official statement.
BCCI also confirmed that all members of the Indian traveling contingent along with their family members were administered the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month in London. “To mitigate any further risks, the Indian contingent is taking the Lateral Flow Test on a daily basis,” it further exclaimed.
Similar Covid19 positive cases had also risen from the English camp earlier this month as the hosts sported an alternate XI against Pakistan in the ODIs. With the First Test starting at Trent Bridge on August 4th, one would want the players from both sides to remain fit and healthy.
An Indian player tests positive. Inevitable. Unless there is a strict protocol during the tests for both teams, there will be more cases.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) July 15, 2021
Talking about the monitoring of the Indian contingent in the future, BCCI Vice President Rajeev Shukla, earlier spoke to news agency ANI. He said, “Team India is fine there is no problem, secretary Jay Shah has written a letter to team management everybody should follow the COVID protocols, strict measures whatever could be adopted as per the recommendations must be followed and all safety precautions should be taken and the team has to be very careful during the England tour.”
“We are taking all the precautions during the series, everybody is put in the bubble so since it was a long gap of one month so players were allowed to go around. I don’t think that they can be constantly kept in a bubble. We are not that worried because the rest of the players are fine they will be heading to Durham. Who is in isolation will not travel with the rest of the team. Once they test negative, then only they can proceed ahead,” he added.