India’s wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant had tested positive for Covid-19 on 8 July and is nearing completion of his self-quarantine period while training assistant and net bowler Dayanand Garani has also tested positive for Covid-19, the Board of Control for Cricket in India said on Thursday.
Indian men’s team, on their tour of England, was on a three-week break after the conclusion of the ICC World Test Championship final held in Southampton against New Zealand.
“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. 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,” the board said in a statement.
The board said that the medical team have identified Bharat Arun (bowling coach), Wriddhiman Saha and Abhimanyu Easwaran as close contacts of Garani, who was in the team hotel when he tested positive following RT-PCR tests on 14th July. The four of them will undergo 10-day isolation and will remain in their respective rooms in 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,” the BCCI statement issued by secretary Jay Shah added.
Earlier on Thursday, PTI reported that Pant had contracted the Delta variant which has led to rising number of cases in England. The 23-year-old had attended England’s semi-final match at Euro 2020 match at Wembley as per a post on Instagram.
The reported added Shah had, in a letter to squad, had 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 report in addition said that Shah specifically stated that players should avoid going to the Wimbledon and Euro Championships, both of which recently concluded in London.
India are due to take on England in a five-match Test series starting August 4. The India-England showdown marks the beginning of the second cycle of the World Test Championship. Virat Kohli and Co will begin their preparations with a three-day warm-up game at Emirates Riverside against County XI starting on Tuesday.
Pant, Easwaran and Saha will miss the practice match scheduled to start on July 20 against a combined county side with both Bengal players along with Arun in 10-day isolation. KL Rahul will be expected to keep wickets in that case.
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.
(With PTI inputs)