No additions allowed despite Covid cases, according to BCCI

Despite the fear of Covid, the BCCI does not send any additional players to England, Indian express has learned.

The Indian team are on their way to Durham after a three week break and the assembled group have no wicket keeper, with Rishabh Pant in quarantine after testing positive on July 8 and Wriddhiman Saha in self-isolation in London as close contact with training assistant Dayanand Garani. The latter tested positive for Covid on Wednesday and isolated himself at the team’s hotel in London.

BCCI, however, believe that Pant is asymptomatic and nearing the end of his quarantine period, at least for now, there is no need to add players to an already bloated squad. “No,” said a senior BCCI official when asked if an additional player would be sent to England.

The selection committee chose a team of 20 members for the series of five tests in England, taking into account the restrictions induced by the pandemic. India is still on the UK’s red list due to the Covid-19 outbreak, which means tighter travel restrictions and more elaborate antivirus security protocols. As a result, a squad of 20 members and four replacements were selected to provide adequate backup for almost any position in the event of injury or any other emergency.

Also in Australia last winter, India had to draw on its resources following the injuries of several top cricketers and replacement players like Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar and T Natarajan were drafted into the squad, and they played a major role in a memorable test. series victory.

Let their guard down

The UK has been dealing with the spread of the Delta variant of the virus and although the entire Indian contingent, along with traveling family members, received the second shot of the Covid vaccine earlier this month in London, visiting crowded places during the three-week break was likely to occur. Pant and Jasprit Bumrah have been spotted in a busy Wembley, watching a Euro 2020 game. Head coach Ravi Shastri has moved on to Wimbledon.

“Pant, who had not stayed at the team hotel during the break period, tested positive on July 8. He is asymptomatic and is currently undergoing self-isolation where he tested positive. He is closely watched by the BCCI medical team and is on the mend. He will be able to join the team in Durham after having returned two negative RT-PCR tests, ”said the statement from the BCCI.

And aside from Saha, bowling coach Bharat Arun and reserve opener Abhimanyu Easwaran are also self-isolating for 10 days in London for being close contacts with jet specialist Garani. Whether Easwaran is drafted into the main squad has to be seen, as Shubman Gill is treating a leg injury. The Punjab opening, however, has not been ruled out of the series.

When asked if Easwaran would come in, a BCCI official said: “This is a call to be taken by the coaches and the team management. The BCCI does not interfere in selection matters.

The BCCI allowed members of the Indian team to leave the bubble after the final of the World Test Championship which ended on June 23. The Indian contingent is now passing the lateral flow test “daily to mitigate any additional risk”.

The Indian team departed for England on June 3 and this 104-day tour is the longest the current batch has ever seen. The first test against England in Nottingham begins on August 4, while the fifth test in Manchester ends on September 14. Ahead of the series, India will play a three-day warm-up match starting Tuesday against a County XI.

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