Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer T Natarajan was placed in isolation after a second RT-PCR test on the player, ordered by the BCCI, also turned up positive for Covid-19.
The 30-year-old, though asymptomatic, had tested positive on Tuesday during the routine round of tests being conducted. However, The Indian Express understands that the BCCI decided on conducting a second test since the Board had previously experienced cases of players turning up with false positive results. The second test was conducted early in the morning on Wednesday. All players in the franchise were informed to isolate themselves in their rooms till the results were out.
Following Natarajan’s positive result, six more members of the Hyderabad team have been put into isolation as close contacts.
As per a press release, all-rounder Vijay Shankar, team manager Vijay Kumar, physio Shyam Sundar J, doctor Anjana Vannan, logistics manager Tushar Khedkar, and net bowler Periyasamy Ganesan have been identified as the six close contacts.
“The rest of the contingent including the close contacts underwent RT-PCR tests at 5 AM local time this morning and the test reports are negative,” added the statement.
Despite the positive test, the BCCI decided that the Indian Premier League (IPL) fixture for Wednesday between the Hyderabad-outfit and Delhi Capitals will go ahead as per schedule in Dubai and those players that tested negative will be allowed to play.
However, the BCCI has informed all teams that players and support staff will have to wear masks while travelling in the team bus for practice sessions. At the same time, the cricket body stressed the need for players and team management to follow social distancing everywhere.
“We don’t know how it happened and whether there was any breach? We are trying to find out but we have informed everyone to be cautious,” a BCCI official said.
“The players are in a bio-secure bubble and Natarajan underwent six days of isolation here before joining the team. It’s hard to tell from where he picked up the virus.”
Natarajan has picked up 20 IPL wickets from the 24 matches he has played. The IPL 2021 season resumed on Sunday after it had to be halted in May due to multiple Covid-19 cases emerging despite the bio-secure bubble put in place while the event was being staged in India earlier this year.