Udayavni Special

COVID-19: India’s white-ball squad reaches Bengaluru


PTI, Jul 30, 2021, 6:43 PM IST

Bengaluru: The Indian limited-overs side led by Shikhar Dhawan reached Bengaluru on Friday evening from Sri Lanka where three members of the squad — Krishnappa Gowtham, Yuzvendra Chahal and Krunal Pandya were forced to stay back after testing positive for COVID-19.

Gowtham and Chahal were already among the eight isolated cricketers but on Friday, their pre-departure RT-PCR reports came positive and they had to be put in mandatory isolation as per health protocols of the country.

A BCCI official had earlier in the day said that the squad has left from Colombo but is still waiting at the airport after the fresh cases came to light and is expected to leave later in the day.

”Yuzi and Gowtham have tested positive as the team was supposed to return by a charter flight to Bengaluru sans Krunal Pandya. But now as per rules, Gowtham and Yuzi will also have to be in seven-day isolation in Sri Lanka. The contingent has reached Bengaluru,” a BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

”They will take connecting flights to their respective cities from Bengaluru as they get a much required break after more than six weeks inside the bio-bubble in Mumbai and Colombo,” the source added.

It is expected that Krunal, if he returns with two negative RT-PCR reports, will be able to travel back sometime during middle of next week.

Every member before boarding a return flight was supposed to undergo an RT-PCR test and there Gowtham and Chahal, deemed as close contacts of Krunal, have been found positive.

Six others — Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw and Deepak Chahar — are free to depart the country.

All the nine players were together after the first game and then on July 27th, the day of the second T20 International, Krunal had a sore throat and showed symptoms after which he was tested and found to be COVID-19 positive.

The second T20 International had to be postponed by a day and the eight close contacts were also not allowed to take the field.

It was learnt that BCCI secretary Jay Shah took special initiative to ensure that all players are in isolation despite testing negative.

The decision proved to be a prudent one as even though Gowtham and Chahal had tested negative on Tuesday, they have now subsequently been found positive.

Most of the players have had at least one shot of vaccination.

Surya, Shaw to link up with team in Nottingham

Meanwhile, Shaw and Surya are supposed to fly to the United Kingdom where they will join the Test squad as replacement players after Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar got injured.

It is understood that both players will do their hard (room) quarantine in Nottingham itself.

The Indian team on Friday had their final training session at the Chester-Lee Street ground in Durham, which was their training cum warm-up match base for the last 2 weeks. The team will have a bubble to bubble transfer from Durham to Nottingham.

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