New Delhi: The Indian cricket board on Thursday confirmed that a player from the Indian Test squad in England has tested positive for Covid-19 and has been kept in isolation. An IANS report confirmed the reports quoting Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCC)) vice-president Rajiv Shukla, but the name of the player has not been revealed officially.
Quoting Shukla the report said that the rest of the squad is fine since the affected player was staying with acquaintances.
"Today (Thursday, July 15) is the eighth day after the report of him testing positive came out. He will undergo another test after a couple of days," Shukla quoted saying.
"He was staying with his relatives in the break and during that period caught the virus. He was away from the other members of the squad, which is why it hasn't affected the team and it is not isolation. The affected player is asymptomatic," added Shukla.
The Board vice-president confirmed that the affected player is staying with his relatives in isolation and won't travel to Durham, where the remaining squad will assemble for a camp beginning Thursday (July 15).
Meanwhile quoting A BCCI source, a PTI reported confirmed that it was Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant who has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been in isolation for the past eight days. He is, according to the source, asymptomatic at this point, says the report.
The rest of the squad, sans Pant and the injured Shubman Gill, left for Durham on Thursday from London. Gill had sustained a leg injury earlier this month and the young batsman had left the team's bio-bubble.
The development comes close on the heels of BCCI secretary Jay Shah sending an e-mail to the Indian contingent, warning it about the rising cases of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom.
"As of now no other player has tested positive. Also you must be aware our secretary Jay Shah has written a letter to all players to maintain protocols," Shukla added.
It is understood that Pant has been afflicted by the Delta variant which has led to rising number of cases in England. He was seen attending a Euro championship match last month and had even posted pictures on his social media accounts.He underwent a test after experiencing low grade fever.
Shah, in his letter, told the players to "avoid" crowded places as Covishield, the vaccine which has been given to the team, only provides protection, not full immunity against the virus.
The positive test, however, has brought the BCCI under scrutiny for its decision to allow players to visit sporting venues as well as other public places in England and mingle with crowd during their three-week break after WTC final. The lack of precautions in a country that is opening up after lockdown and seeing a rise in cases, is shocking considering that India are due to play a five-Test series from August 4.
A loss of a key player like Pant can hurt India badly.
The Indian team is due to take on England in a five-match Test series starting August 4. It will play a practice game starting July 20 as a build-up to the high-intensity series.
The India-England showdown marks the beginning of the second cycle of the World Test Championship.
Recently, the England team too was hit by the virus and was forced to field an altogether different XI in a limited-overs match against Pakistan.