COVID and fear have invaded the 2021 Indian Premier League after reports of bubble breach have rocked the tournament. Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings are the sides to have been infected by coronavirus so far, with other sides being extra careful.
The continuing Indian Premier League is being held in India amidst tough times, with the nation going through the severe second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, fear has struck the tournament members, with the highly secure bubble of a couple of sides being breached.
Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings are the two teams infected so far. While KKR's Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrierare the ones infected, contradicting reports have suggested three members of CSK have also tested positive, i.e. Laxmipathy Balaji (bowling coach), Kasi Vishwanathan (CSK CEO) and a bus cleaner. Earlier, there were also reports that the trio had tested false positive.
Naturally, the reaming teams have started to become extra careful. According to ESPNCricinfo, Delhi Capitals, who last played against KKR, has isolated themselves. Meanwhile, there is no clarity if DC would train on Tuesday, while its next game will be against KKR again on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad, too, refrained from training after five of the ground staff in Delhi tested positive. It is to be noted that Delhi is one of the most severely affected cities of the country amidst the second COVID wave.
"There's no one who is on duty at the matches, who has tested positive. Since the numbers (in Delhi) peaked, we had put them (groundstaff) in-house in a bubble and they were staying at the stadium. Since it is a taxing job, they get drained out. So, we have groundstaff that are off-site tested and quarantined. After every few matches, we rotate them," said Delhi & Districts Cricket Association president Rohan Jaitley to CI.
Meanwhile, DC has increased its frequency of regular testing to each day. Earlier, it was conducted every two days, while the recent bubble breach has prompted the franchise to take this significant step.
RR-CSK tie to be postponed
In the meantime, another report from CI adds that the upcoming tie between Rajasthan Royals and CSK on Tuesday in Delhi will be postponed. CSK has reportedly gone into a week-long quarantine following the reports of three non-playing members testing positive. Despite contradicting statements, CSK is not willing to take any risk.
Nonetheless, Viswanathan has confirmed CI that while he has been cleared, the remaining two members are indeed positive, including Balaji. Although the IPL is yet to make an official announcement on the same, it would be the second game after KKR's match against Royal Challengers Bangalore's game last night to be postponed.
"The IPL SOPs say if any member of the team is infected, the rest of the group needs to isolate for seven days. So, we have informed the IPL on Monday," Viswanathan was quoted as saying.
"Tomorrow's match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium between CSK and RR will be rescheduled as per SOP rules. As Balaji was in contact with the players, all of them have gone into hard quarantine. They are supposed to be tested every day," a BCCI official told PTI.
Tuesday's game to go ahead
Meanwhile, Tuesday's game between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians would go ahead as per schedule on Tuesday in Delhi. Although there were apprehensions, considering that MI last played CSK and the match happened in Delhi, it is being said that MI underwent its round of tests immediately and all cleared it.
While the DDCA ground staff testing positive was another concern, Jaitley confirmed that the ones testing positive were not involved in MI's previous game. However, some BCCI insiders were anxious about Tuesday's game and felt that even MI should have been isolated for a while.
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Last Updated May 4, 2021, 12:31 PM IST