Indian players are currently in England to play a five-test series against the hosts. Their stay in England had begun on the occasion of the final match of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship; in which it lost to New Zealand. The pandemic has made traveling and playing sports quite difficult and as per the latest news reports; at least one player of the touring Indian team has contracted the virus. It is reported that Rishabh Pant, the young and promising wicket-keeper-batsman, has contracted the virus.
This is surely going to affect the morale of the Indian team as contracting the virus is a serious ordeal for everyone. The Delta variant of the virus has been quite infectious and is now dominating the entire world. Multiple cricketers have already contracted the virus at different points of time. The pandemic had stopped sports activities all across the world but things are gradually resuming in protected conditions. Let us have a look at the further details of this news.
Contracting The Virus
It is extremely easy to contract the virus given its infectious nature. This is why players who have to travel to different places are required to observe safety norms to the maximum extent possible. In this case, two players had been suspected of contracting the virus. However, only one of them, Pant, tested positive. All the players were tested on Wednesday; the 14th of July, before they were to get into the bio-bubble in Durham on Thursday.
Only Pant tested positive out of them. Pant is reported to be doing fine in home isolation. He is asymptomatic and will hopefully recover soon and join the team. It is reported that both Pant and the other player had sore throats following which they had decided to test for the virus. The Indian players had been a bio-bubble; since their arrival in England but restrictions were eased at the end of June. They were given a vacation of around three weeks before the preparations for the five-match test series against England was supposed to begin on the 4th of August 2021.
Player attended for Euro Cup & Wimbledon
The Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI) had initially issued a circular asking player not to go out due to the rising infections in the United Kingdom. However, there were many players who had chosen to attend the Euro Cup and Wimbledon matches. The BCCI however has not issued any statement on this officially.
It is reported that Chetan Sharma, the chief of the Board of Selectors, had gone to visit Sourav Ganguly yesterday but none of them made any comments on this particular development. India is scheduled to play a practice match against Country Select XI at Chester-le-Street Stadium in Durham. The match, which will stretch across three days, is scheduled to see 90 overs of play each day. The Indian team is supposed to be tested again on Thursday. Sources have confirmed that there is not a lot to worry about; as the rest of the players are all safe. They however might be tested regularly to stop the further spread of the virus.
Coronavirus Situation In Sports
Various cricket teams have been battling with coronavirus outbreaks in their teams. Three players and four members of the cricketing staff of the England team contracted the virus last week before the first ODI against Pakistan. Although the names of the players have not been released by the England and Wales Cricket Board; the development shows how the pandemic has been affecting initiatives to resume sporting activities across the world.
A second-string English side, led by all-rounder Ben Stokes was successful in defeating the touring Pakistan team 3-0. Tom Harrison, the chief executive of the ECB has said, “We have been mindful that the emergence of the Delta variant; along with our move away from the stringent enforcement of biosecure environments, could increase the chances of an outbreak. We made a strategic choice to try to adapt protocols, in order to support the overall wellbeing of our players and management staff who have spent much of the last 14 months living in very restricted conditions.”
A similar outbreak was seen in the Sri Lankan side on their return after a tour of the United Kingdom. The ODI series against India which was scheduled to start on the 13th of July 2021 has been postponed to the 18th of July. The members of the Sri Lankan side who tested positive included the likes of coach Grant Flower and other players.
The pandemic has been affecting sports for a long time. We wish for the speedy recovery of all the affected players and hope we get to see them back in action soon.