Setback for India as Rishab Pant tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of England series

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Setback for India as Rishab Pant tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of England series

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Indian cricketer Rishab Pant plays a drive during an ODI match. Photo: AFP
Indian cricketer Rishab Pant plays a drive during an ODI match. Photo: AFP
  • Indian team leaves for Durham without Pant. 
  • Pant had attended the England vs Germany Euro 2020 clash a few weeks ago. 
  • No other player affected by the virus, says BCCI. 

India’s wicketkepeer batsman Rishab Pant has tested positive for coronaivrus in England, as per Indian media reports. 

The cricketer is isolating at home after testing positive for the infection, media reports say, adding that the Indian team sans Pant has left for Durham’s bio-secure bubble. 

India are scheduled to play a five-match Test series against England in the days to come. 

As per media reports, Pant took a COVID-19 test eight days ago and for the time being, is asymptomatic. 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Vice President Rajiv Shukla said no other player has been affected by the virus.

“Yes, one player has tested positive but he has been in isolation for the last eight days. He was not staying in any hotel with the team, so no other player has been affected,” Shukla told PTI.

The crickerter was spotted at a packed Wembley Stadium, a few weeks ago, with a friend as he enjoyed the Euro 2020 knock-out match between England and Germany. 

Sources told Indian media Pant opted for a COVID-19 test after he experienced a sore throat.  The test came back positive and the players as well as support staff that had come in contact with the cricketer, have completed their three-day isolation period. 

The news of Pant testing positive for the infection comes at a time when the virus infected seven members of the England cricket team ahead of their Pakistan tour. 

England was forced to announce a second-choice team for the Pakistan ODI series, with Ben Stokes as the captain, as the entire team was ordered to isolate. 

A second-string England clean-swept Pakistan 3-0 in the ODI series, but the question of how the virus breached the bubble was left answered.

“We have been mindful that the emergence of the Delta variant, along with our move away from the stringent enforcement of biosecure environments, could increase the chances of an outbreak,” ECB chief had said. 

“We made a strategic choice to try to adapt protocols, in order to support the overall wellbeing of our players and management staff who have spent much of the last 14 months living in very restricted conditions,” he said. 

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