Axar, ground staff, BCCI IPL team test covid positive in Mumbai, BCCI says too late to shift matches | Cricket News

2021-04-03 10:23:14

NEW DELHI: The Indian cricket board (BCCI) has suffered a blow a week ahead of the IPL with multiple people involved with the tournament in Mumbai returning Covid-19 positive over the last few days. Delhi CapitalsAxar Patel has tested positive along with 10 groundsmen at the Wankhede stadium and seven members from BCCI‘s IPL organizing team.
Mumbai is slated to host the second match of this year’s IPL on April 10. The match will be played between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals. BCCI, however, remains confident of pulling off the matches in Mumbai. TOI understands that BCCI had Hyderabad as one of the backup venues.

“It’s too late to move the matches from Mumbai now. The members of the organizing team have been in a separate bubble. The players are in a strict bubble. BCCI had Hyderabad as a backup but it is very difficult to move it in a week,” a senior BCCI official told TOI.
“He had checked into the team hotel in Mumbai on March 28, 2021, with a negative report. His report from the second COVID test, came positive. He is currently in isolation at a designated medical care facility,” read a statement from Capitals.

It may be noted that a few players and support staff from Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals had tested upon reaching UAE for the last year’s IPL in September. “At the moment, BCCI is confident of pulling off an incident-free IPL like it did in UAE,” the official added.
Host associations on alert; DDCA gets staff vaccinated
TOI understands that the board is speaking to the rest of the host associations to tighten its Covid protocols. With local associations hosting the matches, there’s an inhabitation of few unruly association members violating the protocols. It will be communicated to other state associations that they must start implementing the protocols even if they are due to host the matches in the second half of the tournament.

The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), which will host its first game on April 28, has already started a free vaccination drive for its entire staff. “The ground staff were the first ones to get the shots. DDCA president Rohan Jaitley took special permission from the government citing the IPL. Now, all the employees and directors will get vaccinated,” a DDCA official told TOI.
It is learnt that the BCCI will urge other state associations to organize such a drive to avert any incident in the coming two months.

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