Kolkata: The case of two members of Indian cricket team - wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and training assistant/net bowler Dayanand Garani- testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of the five-Test series against England has prompted the BCCI to issue a guideline on the dos and don’ts for the players for the next one and-a-half months. Jay Shah, secretary of the BCCI, has sent off an email to the team members last week - asking them to adhere to Covid related protocols and avoid crowded places at all costs.
Pant, a statement from the BCCI confirmed on Thursday, is nearing completion of his self-quarantine period while both he and Garani had been largely asymptomatic. Team India were on a three-week break after the conclusion of the ICC World Test Championship final held in Southampton against New Zealand.
Pant, who had not stayed in the team hotel during the break period, tested positive on July 8. ‘‘He is asymptomatic and currently undergoing self-isolation at the place where he reported positive. He is being closely monitored by the BCCI Medical Team and is on his way to recovery. He will be able to join the squad in Durham after returning two negative RT-PCR tests,’’ the statement said.
The BCCI medical team have identified bowling coach Bharath Arun, Wriddhiman Saha and Abhimanyu Easwaran as close contacts of Garani, who was in the team hotel when he tested positive following tests on July 14. The four personnel will undergo 10-day isolation and will remain in their respective rooms in the team hotel in London.
The entire Indian contingent, including travelling family members and caretakers, were administered with the second dose of covid vaccine earlier this month in London. ‘‘The Indian contingent is taking the Lateral Flow Test on a daily basis,’’ the statement added.
In his mail to the team management, Shah has written to the team members that while the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has helped in facilitating the second dose of vaccine, it does not guarantee total immunity or complete resistance. ‘‘In fact, the new variant is spreading rapidly, and we are not out of the danger zone. You may be aware that the ECB was forced to field another team to play against Pakistan and even the white ball series between India and Sri Lanka had to be postponed.
‘‘In view of this, it is advisable that places of mass congregation, crowded shopping malls/stores and eateries and watering holes be avoided by you in the best interests of everyone,’’ Shah wrote.
Incidentally, Pant’s photos on the social media of him at the Wembley Stadium to watch the England-Germany match in Euro 2020 had gone viral sometime back. Head coach Ravi Shastri, senior member Ravi Ashwin had posted pictures of themselves in Wimbledon on social media.