Rising Indian star Devdutt Padikkal has tested positive for Covid-19 and is in quarantine in Bengaluru, his franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore confirmed on Sunday, five days ahead of the Indian Premier League season-opener on 9 April.

All eight teams have been put into secure bio-bubbles ahead of the start of the tournament with a clash between reigning champions Mumbai Indians and RCB in Chennai on Friday.

RCB’s players have assembled in Chennai ahead of the campaign, with some players already out of quarantine and training.

Padikkal was one of the finds of IPL 2020 and has been in stellar form in domestic cricket and is expected to partner Virat Kohli at the top of the order this season.

Statement from RCB: 

Devdutt Padikkal tested positive for Covid-19 on 22nd March 2021. He has been in mandatory quarantine at his residence in Bengaluru since then. Devdutt will be fit to join the RCB bio-bubble once his RT-PCR tests are negative, as per IPL protocol. RCB Medical team is in touch with Devdutt ensuring his safety and well-being. He is feeling well and we can’t wait to have him join the squad for IPL 2021.

— via @RCBTweets

India reported 93,249 new cases on Sunday in the biggest one-day jump since mid-September. The Centre told states not to register healthcare and other frontline workers for vaccines anymore, and Madhya Pradesh said it will restrict travel from Chhattisgarh.

Tamil Nadu has registered 3,581 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, pushing the total caseload to around 9 lakh while the toll rose to 12,778 with 14 more fatalities, the health department said. The state has been witnessing a steady increase in daily cases over the past few weeks. On April 3, the single-day case count crossed the 3,000 mark. Chennai, where IPL season gets underway and RCB are stationed currently, accounted for most of the new infections with 1,344 cases

Earlier, allrounder Axar Patel had tested positive for coronavirus and been put into isolation, Delhi Capitals said Saturday as the IPL battles new pandemic fears days ahead of its start.

IPL organisers are nervously watching a surge in coronavirus cases across India as 10 ground staff at the stadium where Patel’s team play their first match on April 10 have also tested positive, reports said.

Patel, who took four five-wicket hauls in the Test series against England last month, was found to have the coronavirus after joining his Delhi Capitals side as they prepare for the new IPL tournament. He checked into the team hotel in Mumbai on March 28 “with a negative report,” the Capitals said in a statement.

“His report from the second COVID test, came positive. He is currently in isolation at a designated medical care facility,” the team added. The Capitals play their first game on Saturday against Chennai Super Kings at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium where 10 staff are reported to have tested positive.

Maharashtra state, which includes Mumbai, has become the epicentre of the new pandemic wave.

The health ministry in a statement said that 80.96% of the new cases are from eight states – Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. It added that Maharashtra alone accounts for 58.19% of the total active cases in India.

(With AFP inputs)