Indian cricket team’s wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant and training assistant Dayanand Garani tested positive for COVID-19, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said Thursday. Moreover, wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha, bowling coach Bharath Arun and standby player Abhimanyu Easwaran have been put in isolation as they were deemed close contacts of Garani. While Pant tested positive on July 8 and was not at the team hotel at the time, Garani was at the hotel on July 14 when he tested positive following RT-PCR tests. All four of Garani, Arun, Saha and Easwaran have been isolated for 10 days and will remain in their rooms at the team hotel in London.
The entire Indian contingent including travelling family members and caretakers were administered with the second dose of covid vaccine earlier this month in London. To mitigate any further risks, the Indian contingent is taking the Lateral Flow Test on a daily basis. #ENGvIND
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 15, 2021
None of the aforementioned players and staff members will travel to Durham with the team for a practice match. This means that both Pant and Saha will miss the practice match in Durham that begins on July 20.
“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,” BCCI said in a statement.
“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.”
BCCI also confirmed that all members of the Indian travelling contingent along with their family members were administered the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month.
“To mitigate any further risks, the Indian contingent is taking the Lateral Flow Test on a daily basis,” BCCI said.
The spate of COVID-19 cases in the team come with just over a fortnight to go for the first Test at Trent Bridge that begins on August 4.
The Indian Test team has been in England for more than a month now since arriving there ahead of the World Test Championship final in June.
After the final, the squad members had dispersed for a three-week break, BCCI said. They were expected to assemble ahead of a practice match in Durham
Pant, who had taken his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on May 13, ahead of the team’s departure to England, was recently seen at London’s Wembley Stadium watching a football match during Euro 2020.
Meanwhile, BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla said no other player has been affected by the virus. “Yes, one player has tested positive but he has been in isolation for the last eight days. He was not staying in any hotel with the team, so no other player has been affected,” Shukla told news agency PTI.
The practice match at Durham begins on July 20 and the Test series that follows will mark the beginning of the second cycle of World Test Championship.
(With PTI inputs)
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