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Two Indian players test positive for COVID-19 ahead of England Tests: Reports
- One player has recovered, one is in isolation
- The players are believed to be infected by the Delta variant
India and England are set to play a 5-match Test series, starting Aug. 4
Two players of the Indian cricket team have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 in the UK. While the players have been not been named, it is understood that they are doing fine.
One of the two players has already returned a negative result, the other player is currently in isolation and will be tested again on July 18 (Sunday), according to news agency ANI.
Virat Kohli-led India are in the UK for the five-match Test series against England, starting August 4 in Nottingham. The Indian team has been on a break since losing the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) against New Zealand last month in Southampton. The players and support staff have been asked to assemble in Durham on July 15 (today) for the preparations ahead of the first Test against England.
The Test series against England will be India's first assignment of the upcoming 2021-23 WTC cycle.
"Luckily, there is nothing to worry about as one of the players has already returned negative since testing positive, the other player will be tested on Sunday and is currently in isolation. He is asymptomatic as well and we are confident that he can join the camp soon after negative reports," an unnamed source told ANI.
Adding further that there was no cause for concern, the source said,"As of now, they are all fine, but we will be testing them regularly and following strict protocols. Safety of the players is always the priority."
The news has come after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah recently sending an email to the Indian contingent in the UK warning them against the spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, according to PTI.
In the email, Shah had told the players to "avoid" crowded places as Covishield only provides protection, not full immunity against the virus. He had specifically asked the players to avoid going to Wimbledon and Euros 2020, which recently concluded in the UK.
However, the players and support staff did not abide by that as a few players and support staff, including head coach Ravi Shastri, were spotted at the sporting events. Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah went for a Euros 2020 game each, while Shastri and Ravichandran Ashwin went to Wimbledon.
The infected players are believed to be affected by the Delta variant, which has led to the rising cases in the UK, the PTI report further revealed.
Ahead of the five-match Test series against England, the Indian team is set to play a warm-up game from July 20 to 22 against a County Championship XI team that is being arranged by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after a request from the BCCI.
The decision regarding the warm-up game was taken following India's loss in the WTC final. Following the loss, India captain Kohli had said his side wanted first-class games ahead of the series against England, but they had not been given that.