Coronavirus | COVID-19 affects the Super Kings camp

The Chennai Super Kings team bus. Photo: Twitter/@ChennaiIPL

The Chennai Super Kings team bus. Photo: Twitter/@ChennaiIPL

A team known for its resilience and the ability to fight back has been rocked even before the first ball has been bowled in the upcoming IPL.

An India cricketer in the Chennai Super Kings squad and several members of its support staff and social media team have tested positive for COVID-19 in Dubai, where the team is based.

The competition begins in the UAE on September 19.

It is believed the India cricketer to have tested positive is swing bowler Deepak Chahar, who has been a vital part of the CSK attack over the past two years with his control and movement, both at the beginning and the end of the innings.

Contact tracing

Then, a few members of the support staff and the side’s social media team also failed the COVID test. To prevent the virus from spreading further, the authorities have already commenced ‘contact tracing’.

The team underwent a test upon landing on August 21, after which it was tested on Days 1, 3 and 6. Everyone came out clean in the first three tests. But the test on Thursday proved a stumbling block.

Those who failed the test underwent another one on Friday, conducted by the Dubai health authority and the BCCI. The names will be released officially on Saturday.

Additional quarantine

The positive results mean CSK has to undergo one more week of quarantine and will be able to begin its practice sessions only on September 1.

Only then it will be able to enter the IPL’s ‘bio-bubble,’ a secure environment where the players will have to wear wrist bands so that their movements can be tracked.

As for the CSK player and support staff, who have tested positive now, they will, according to the tournament’s SOP, be isolated from the squad and quarantined for a couple of weeks after which they will have to clear two COVID tests before becoming eligible to compete.

Since the tournament begins only on September 19, they can still recover and be available for the first game.

Chennai camp

Ahead of its campaign in the UAE, CSK had a five-day training session in Chennai where the side underwent two COVID tests. The players and the support staff came through them without any damage.

Despite reservations from team CEO K.S. Viswanathan about having the camp in Chennai, CSK went ahead after skipper M.S. Dhoni insisted on it since the players were rusty from lengthy lay-offs.

And before coming to Chennai, the CSK cricketers were tested once. Under the circumstances, these results in Dubai have come as a shock.

Match schedule

Although the tournament will begin on September 19, the schedule of matches is yet to be released. Ideally, the first game would have been between last-year’s runner-up CSK and winner Mumbai Indians. Now it remains to be seen if this clash would be the lung-opener.

The Chennai side is facing a few problems at the moment. But, with its inspirational skipper M.S. Dhoni around to lift the side, CSK can bounce back.

(With inputs from Amol Karhadkar)

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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 4:20:46 pm |