IPL 2021: Delhi Capitals asked to quarantine as Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad skip practice
MI and SRH scheduled to play on 4th May decided to skip practice after groundsmen in Delhi test positive for COVID-19
The scare of COVID-19 has sent shockwaves through the IPL community. With the news of Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier testing positive for the dreaded virus emerging in the morning, several reports have made it clear that the teams and players have gone into a state of panic.
Later in the day, it was confirmed that three non-playing staff of the Chennai Super Kings contingent, which includes their CEO and bowling coach L Balaji have also turned out to be COVID-positive. Meanwhile, five DDCA groundsmen at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium have also fallen prey to the virus.
The BCCI swiftly responded by cancelling tonight's match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore and the entire KKR team has been asked to quarantine. Chennai Super Kings players and staff are also in isolation whereas Delhi Capitals, who played a match against KKR on 29th April have also been asked to take quarantine measures.
"As we had played our last game against KKR, we have been advised to go into quarantine and all of us are in isolation. We are all in our rooms," a Delhi Capitals official told Cricbuzz.
Though the period of quarantine for Delhi Capitals hasn't been made clear yet, there are considerable doubts on whether the team will be able to take part in a practice session scheduled at the Motera Stadium on 4th May. "We don't have any information if that practice session will go ahead," the official concluded.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad who are supposed to square off against each on the 4th of May in Delhi skipped their training session at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium following the report of groundsmen testing positive. We're still awaiting an update from BCCI on the match and whether the tournament will be halted momentarily.
Rohan Jaitley, the President of DDCA, however, has mentioned that none of the groundstaff that were present for the two matches over the weekend were among those who had tested positive.
"There's no one who is on duty at the matches who has tested positive," Jaitley told ESPNcricinfo.
"Since the numbers (in Delhi) peaked we had put them (groundstaff) in-house in a bubble and they were staying at the stadium. Since it is a taxing job, they get drained out. So, we have groundstaff that are off-site tested and quarantined. After every few matches we rotate them," he concluded.
All of these developments put serious doubt over the immediate future of the Indian Premier League. According to several reports, BCCI is considering shelving the tournament for a week and putting the teams concerned into hard quarantine. Only time will tell us how the IPL 2021 unfolds from here.