COVID-19 hits Team India | Cricket

Ravi Shastri, two others tested COVID-19 positive in RT-PCR, not travelling to Manchester

Indian team head coach Ravi Shastri (L) with bowling coach Bharat Arun. File   | Photo Credit: KVS Giri

Three of the four support staff members of India’s cricket team who were isolated are confirmed to have contracted COVID-19. The RT-PCR tests of head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach B. Arun and fielding coach R. Sridhar returned positive on Monday while physiotherapist Nitin Patel’s report was negative.

The development has also put the last Test of the series, scheduled to start in Manchester on Friday, in a slight doubt with both the England India Boards along with team managements treading cautiously.

In case the match still goes on as per schedule, it is expected that all the three coaches will be in touch with captain Virat Kohli and batting coach Vikram Rathour, who will be in charge of the team during this period.

The Hindu understands that with all the coaches starting to develop mild symptoms, all of India’s squad members underwent a lateral flow test and the RT-PCR test before the start of the last day’s play of the ongoing fourth Test at the Oval in London. Just like Day 4, India was allowed to take the field on the last day only after everyone cleared the lateral flow test.

The India camp is fearing the number of infected could increase in the coming days. Especially considering at least one of the coaching staff members had used the recovery table in the dressing room on the third day before it was used by players after the end of the day’s play.

All four isolated members, including Patel, will have to be quarantined for at least 10 days according to health protocols in England. It will mean that even if the scheduled decider starts on Friday, none of them will be able to be a part of it.

It is understood that Shastri may have developed the symptoms either during his book release function few evenings back or while using a common lift that players use at the stadium along with the VIP guests which has a minimum traffic of 5000 people.

The playing members had tested negative in two lateral flow tests conducted on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara continued to be off the field after undergoing scans on “left knee” and “left ankle”, respectively, according to the team management.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 9:49:04 AM |

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