In a major blow, Team India has been hit by the COVID-19 four days ahead of the ODI series against West Indies after seven members of the Indian contingent, including four players, tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The players include Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad and reserve seamer Navdeep Saini. It is learnt that the members have returned positive tests on Wednesday, days after reaching Ahmedabad, where the ODI leg against West Indies will be played behind closed doors.
When it comes to the staff members, Fielding Coach T. Dilip, Security Liaison Officer B. Lokesh, and Sports Massage Therapist Rajeev Kumar have tested positive for COVID-19.
Notably, the Indian squad had assembled in Ahmedabad on January 31 for the upcoming white-ball fixtures against the Windies and were going through a three-day isolation period after their break from the South Africa tour.
“Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan and fast bowler Navdeep Saini’s (standby player) RT-PCR tests conducted on Monday (January 31) have returned positive results. Fielding Coach T. Dilip and Security Liaison Officer B. Lokesh’s RT-PCR tests conducted on Monday (January 31) have returned positive results. Batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad’s RT-PCR test conducted on Tuesday (February 1) has returned a positive result. He had tested negative during the first round of testing on Monday. Batsman Shreyas Iyer and Sports Massage Therapist Rajeev Kumar’s RT-PCR tests conducted on Wednesday (February 2) have returned positive results. Both had tested negative in the first two rounds of testing,” wrote BCCI in an official release.
The BCCI also revealed that the All-India Senior Selection Committee has decided to add opening batter Mayank Agarwal to the ODI squad.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has added Mayank Agarwal to India’s ODI squad after seven members of Team India tested positive for COVID-19 following three rounds of RT-PCR testing. The members were asked to report in Ahmedabad on January 31 2022, for the upcoming Paytm 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,” the statement added.