The Indian Premier League was on edge this evening as Kolkata Knight Riders’ Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for COVID-19, causing the team’s game against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Ahmedabad to be postponed. The game will be rescheduled for a later date during the tournament, which ends on May 30. Apart from that, it was revealed that Chennai Super Kings CEO Kasi Viswanathan, bowling coach L Balaji, and a lower-level staff member tested positive on Sunday but had negative results the next day.
Theirs, according to a top BCCI expert, was a case of “false positives.”
“In the third round of testing in the last four days, Varun Chakaravarthy and Sandeep Warrier were found to be positive. The other members of the squad have all screened negative for COVID-19 “According to a press release from the league, which includes some of the biggest names in international cricket.
A few groundsmen at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium have also tested positive for the virus, which is set to host Mumbai Indians vs SunRisers Hyderabad on Tuesday.
The Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) leader Rohan Jaitley, on the other hand, claims that “none of the groundsmen on service” is among them.
The BCCI has maintained that the tournament will go on, but Monday’s events have thrown a pall over how the COVID-19 threat will be handled for an event that spans six venues.
Chakravarthy, a leg-spinner, and Warrier, a pacer, both 30, have been isolated, and the majority of the KKR team has received unfavourable reports for the time being. Warrier, the younger of the two, has yet to make the KKR starting XI in any of the team’s seven matches.
“The Medical Team is in constant contact with the couple and is keeping an eye on their welfare. Meanwhile, the Kolkata Knight Riders have instituted a regular monitoring regimen in order to detect and handle all other potential cases as quickly as possible “said the IPL.
“The Medical Team is now evaluating the two positive cases’ near and informal encounters during the 48 hours prior to the selection of the sample that returned the positive test results,” it said.
KKR’s last game was on April 29 in Ahmedabad against Delhi Capitals, and the news is bound to cause concern in the league, which had been running smoothly in a bio-secure bubble in front of empty stands up until now.
“Now, the DC players (who are currently in Ahmedabad) will have to be checked as well, and any member of the team contingents who came into touch with Chakravarthy and Warrier will be tracked down using the app watch that has been distributed to all,” a BCCI source said.
Any near touch with an infected person must isolate for six days and return three negative tests on days 1, 3, and 6 according to IPL’s Standard Operating Procedure for COVID-19 management.
It is understood that KKR’s pace spearhead Pat Cummins told all Australian players in the IPL about the new development after Chakravarthy tested positive for the virus when receiving shoulder scans for a niggle after Thursday’s game.
Chakravarthy has played in all of KKR’s games so far and is one of the team’s most prolific players, having taken seven wickets.
On April 21, KKR and CSK faced off in Mumbai.
Before the tournament began, the IPL had dealt with a number of promising events, including several well-known names like Axar Patel and Devdutt Padikkal.
This is, however, the first promising event in the middle of the tournament.
“The BCCI and the Kolkata Knight Riders place a high priority on the health and welfare of all participants, and all necessary precautions are being taken,” the IPL said.
Three Australian stars had dropped out of the league just days ago, citing COVID-19 fears in the wake of a catastrophic second wave of the global pandemic that has overwhelmed the country’s medical infrastructure.
Every day, over 3 lakh cases are recorded in India, with over 3,000 people dying.