COVID-19 spread in Indian camp; Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, among 7 tested positive
Ahead of India's ODI and T20I series against West Indies, batters Dhawan, Iyer, Gaikwad, bowler Saini and others have tested positive for COVID-19.
Ahead of India's three-match ODI and T20I series against West Indies, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc in the Indian team camp with opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, standby fast bowler Navdeep Saini, among others returning positive RT-PCR tests following three rounds of testing.
In light of the recent developments, Mayank Agarwal has been added to the team for this upcoming series.
The Indian team members and support staff had arrived at Ahmedabad on Monday and were subsequently tested. "The members were asked to report in Ahmedabad on 31st January 2022 for the upcoming three-match ODI and T20I series against the West Indies. Every member was also asked to undergo an RT-PCR test at home before embarking on their journey to Ahmedabad and the travel was undertaken only after testing negative," said Jay Shah, the BCCI Board Secretary, in a statement on Wednesday.
Shikhar Dhawan and Navdeep Saini took the tests on Monday itself and returned positive results. Additionally, fielding coach T. Dilip and security liaison officer B. Lokesh's RT-PCR tests too returned positive. Ruturaj Gaikwad's report returned negative at first, but on Tuesday, he tested positive - confirming that a COVID-19 outbreak is in the works at the Indian camp currently.
On Wednesday, batter Shreyas Iyer and sports massage therapist Rajeev Kumar's RT-PCR tests returned positive also. Both had tested negative in the first two rounds of testing.
All team members and support staff who tested positive for the virus have been kept in isolation now and are being monitored by the BCCI medical team.
India is slated to play their first ODI match against West Indies at the Narendra Modi Stadium on February 6. Even though these developments have come, it is still likely that the matches will take place as per schedule at Ahmedabad. The T20I leg of the series will take place in Kolkata from February 16-20, as well.
"As of now, the ODI series will go ahead as per schedule. We will get replacements. We have a 25-member squad (including the net bowlers), so we can also draft in a few players from there if needed. The selectors will announce replacements soon," a Board official said to Sportstar.
"The Indian team is staying at a plush hotel in Ashram Road in Ahmedabad. With the COVID-19 outbreak, the players and support staff, who tested negative, have been shifted to a different floor. All of them are in isolation," the official mentioned, saying the players will undergo an RT-PCR test again on Thursday. If the results are negative, a decision will be taken on the training schedule.
Also, spinner Axar Patel, who is a part of the T20I squad has also tested positive for the virus and hasn't yet travelled to Ahmedabad and is currently isolating at home.