2nd T20I in Sri Lanka to be played today after Krunal Pandya tests positive | Cricket News
MUMBAI: Covid continues to stump cricket. Just a few hours before it was scheduled to begin, the second T20 International between India and Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday was postponed by 24 hours after India allrounder Krunal Pandya tested positive for Covid-19. The remaining two T20Is of the series will now be played on Wednesday and Thursday. It was decided to proceed with the series only after the RT-PCR results of all the Team India players, barring Krunal, returned negative on Tuesday evening.
Apparently, Krunal tested positive for Covid-19 following Rapid Antigen tests conducted ahead of Tuesday’s game. The player was sent into isolation and an RTPCR test was called for.
More worryingly for India is that fact that, according to sources, the BCCI’s medical team in Colombo has identified batsmen Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav amongst the eight players who have been identified as Krunal’s close contacts. Shaw and Yadav were on Monday named as replacements to fly from Colombo to England, to join the Indian team gearing up for the five Test matches against England.
Apart from Shaw and Yadav, five other players deemed to be Krunal’s close contacts are his brother and allrounder Hardik Pandya, wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan, opener Devdutt Padikkal and off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham. The identity of the eighth player is yet to be ascertained. The eight players were isolated on Tuesday.
While Shaw and Yadav are set to play the remaining two T20Is in Colombo, it’s clear that they will not be able to fly to England anytime soon. “As it is, whether the players leave now or after a couple of days, they won’t be able to join the team (in England) in time for the first two Tests and now, in fact, even the third doesn’t look possible. There’s mandatory quarantine after flying to England and it’ll take time before they can join the team there,” say sources in the know.
Covid protocols in Sri Lanka mandate that should there be any need for hospitalisation, the affected person should be admitted to a government facility, which are usually run by the island nation’s army medical units.
TOI understands that a broadcast crew had reached the team hotel in Sri Lanka some days ago to shoot for headshots of players ahead of the T20Is. “The broadcast team had not been tested for the last five days in Sri Lanka and one liaison officer had tested positive (during the ODIs). It’s for the same reason that the media was not allowed at the stadium during the first T20I game,” those in the know said.
The news comes just four days after the Australia-West Indies ODI at Bridgetown, Barbados was postponed due to a member of the Windies contingent testing positive. This is the second time that the virus has affected India’s tour of Sri Lanka. Earlier, the limitedovers tour was delayed by four days due to a couple of Covid cases in the Sri Lankan camp. The Indian team in England too was hit by the virus as sRishabh Pant and throw-down specialist Dayanand Garani tested positive for Covid.