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IPL 2022: After 6th positive case in Delhi Capitals, questions raised over bio-bubble breach

"The entire Delhi Capitals contingent underwent 2 rounds of COVID testing today"

Delhi Capitals IPL

Delhi Capitals finished at 5th spot in IPL 2022. (IPL)



Updated: 20 April 2022 4:06 PM GMT

The IPL game between Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings was played as scheduled after being rendered doubtful early on Wednesday due to emergence of sixth COVID-19 case in the former's camp but the bio-bubble breach has raised some serious questions.

The BCCI confirmed that the match will go on despite Tim Seifert contracting the infection. Seifert's positive test on the morning of the game raised serious doubts over the fixture but the rest of the Delhi squad members returned two negative tests to put the match back on track. "The entire Delhi Capitals contingent underwent 2 rounds of COVID testing today. Match No. 32 involving Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings scheduled today at Brabourne – CCI will go ahead as per the schedule after the second round of COVID tests returned negative today," said the BCCI in a statement.

Team Doctor's role, Saturday's 'Easter Dinner'

It is being discussed in hushed tones as to how Capitals' bubble was breached. The role of former Team India medical officer and current franchise doctor Abhijit Salvi has also come under the scanner. Incidentally Salvi was the doctor of the Indian team in Sri Lanka when there was a COVID-19 outbreak with as many as seven Indian players ruled out. The protocols were different back then and a lot of players ruled out were closed contacts. It is also being asked why a lot of foreign players were having a team dinner for Easter celebrations despite Delhi physio Patrick Farhart testing positive.

Questions are being asked why Salvi as the team doctor didn't ensure stricter protocols in place. High drama unfolded in the lead up to the game with Seifert becoming the sixth member from Delhi contingent to test positive. Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh had tested positive on Monday. Punjab had reached the Brabourne Stadium on schedule but Delhi just about about managed to reach in nick of time. As per the IPL regulations, a minimum of 12 players including seven Indians are needed for the game to go ahead in case of a COVID outbreak.

The BCCI was on Tuesday forced to shift the game to Mumbai from Pune "to avoid any further incident due to any undetected case during a long-distance bus journey in a closed environment". Delhi's next game on April 22 has also been moved to Mumbai from Pune. "The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday announced a change of venue for Match No. 34 – Delhi Capital versus Rajasthan Royals from MCA Stadium, Pune to Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai scheduled on April 22, 2022.

"The decision on the change of venue was made as a precautionary measure after Delhi Capitals registered the 6th COVID case with New Zealand wicketkeeper Mr Tim Seifert returning positive in today's RT-PCR testing," BCCI added. Physio Patrick Farhart and sports massage therapist Chetan Kumar had tested positive last week while Marsh, who is hospitalised, team doctor Abhijit Salvi and social media content team member Akash Mane returned positive tests on Monday.

Seifert had also contracted the virus last season when he was with the Kolkata Knight Riders. Multiple cases across four teams had forced the organisers to suspended the IPL last season before it was completed in the UAE in September-October.

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