COVID scare for touring Team India: Pant, support staff test positive

A senior member of the coaching staff, a senior player and a reserve player have been identified as close contacts and asked to quarantine

Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, fastest 50 dismissals, wicketkeeper, India, West Indies, India tour of West Indies
Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant returned a positive test, believed to be on July 10 | Photo: Twitter

In a setback for India’s preparations for the five-Test series in England, four more members of the team have been forced to quarantine – in London for ten days – following one of the members of the support staff returning positive COVID-19 test on July 14.

Team India’s preparations were already affected when wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant returned a positive test, believed to be on July 10.

Apart from the support staff member, those in quarantine are a senior member of the coaching staff, a senior player and a reserve player.

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In accordance with the protocols laid down by Public Health England, all those deemed to be in close contact with the person/s affected needed to be traced and isolated for ten days. It is believed that the senior coach, who is traveling with his family, the senior player and the reserve player (both travelling alone), have all cleared the fresh round of tests conducted on Thursday, ESPNcricinfo reported.

Also read: The WTC final and the road ahead for India

The tests on July 15 followed those on July 10 and 14. While Pant is understood to have tested positive on July 10, it isn’t clear whether he was in close contact with anyone else in the squad at the time, ESPNcricinfo said. All of those who returned a positive test will have to clear the mandatory test before reintegrating with the squad.

The five-match Test series between India and England will mark the second edition of the World Test Championship, the International Cricket Council confirmed on Wednesday.

As in the first edition, the nine teams will play six series each, three home and three away with the cut-off date being March 31, 2023.

India will play home series against Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Australia, while the away matches will include the series against England, Bangladesh and South Africa.

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