What comes as a major blow for the Indian team in the UK is the news of support staff Dayananda Garani tested positive for COVID-19. As per the safety protocols, Wriddhiman Saha is being forced to isolate as a close contact of Dayananda. Rishabh Pant is already affected with COVID-19 & will have to test negative on Sunday to be able to leave the isolation & join the rest of the team players.
Speaking to the ANI, the sources aware of the developments said, “Yes Dayananda has tested positive but luckily he wasn’t around too many players of the team. Saha Unfortunately will have to be isolated as he was a close contact of Dayananda. Hopefully, he returns negative tests too as Rishabh Pant is also currently down & a subsequent test will give us more clarity”.
Earlier a BCCI source informed the media that Rishabh Pant is the Indian player who has tested positive for COVID-19 & thus he will not travel with the rest of the players to Durham. The Indian team is slated to play a warm-up match in Durham from July 20 to 22 against a County Championship team that has been arranged by the ECB after receiving a request from the BCCI to host at least one practice match ahead of the England test series.
The need of playing practice matches was felt after when Virat Kohli said that the Indian team needs practice matches to prepare for the England test series but it hasn’t been arranged for them. After Virat stressed over the need for first-class games, the BCCI had a talk with the ECB to schedule a practice match with the County Select XI squad ahead of the England vs India five-match test series. The three days practice match which will be played between the Indian test squad & County Select XI squad will be a part of India’s warm-up schedule. The Indian test squad will lock horns with England’s team in a five-match test series starting from August 4 in Trent Bridge at Nottinghamshire.