No additions allowed despite Covid cases, says BCCI

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The Covid scare however, the BCCI shouldn’t be sending any extra participant to England, The Indian Express has learnt.

The Indian squad is off to Durham after a three-week break and the assembled celebration doesn’t have a wicketkeeper, with Rishabh Pant quarantining after testing constructive on July 8 and Wriddhiman Saha in self-isolation in London as coaching assistant Dayanand Garani’s shut contact. The latter examined constructive for Covid on Wednesday and has been isolating on the group resort in London.

The BCCI, nonetheless, believes that with Pant being asymptomatic and nearing the completion of his quarantine interval, no less than as of now there’s no want so as to add gamers to an already bloated squad. “No,” stated a prime BCCI official when requested if any extra participant can be despatched to England.

The choice committee picked a 20-member squad for the five-Test sequence in England, with an eye fixed to pandemic-induced restrictions. India remains to be on the United Kingdom’s pink checklist because of the Covid-19 surge, that means stricter journey restrictions and extra elaborate virus security protocols. Accordingly, a 20-member squad plus 4 standbys had been picked to offer satisfactory backup for nearly each place in case of accidents or every other emergency.

In Australia additionally final winter, India needed to dig deep into their sources following accidents to a number of first-choice cricketers and backup gamers like Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar and T Natarajan had been drafted into the squad, and so they performed a serious half in a memorable Test sequence win.

Letting their guard down

The UK has been dealing with the unfold of the Delta variant of the virus and though the whole Indian contingent, together with the travelling relations, was administered the second jab of the Covid vaccine earlier this month in London, visiting crowded locations through the three-week break ran a threat. Pant and Jasprit Bumrah had been noticed at a heavily-crowded Wembley, watching a Euro 2020 match. Head coach Ravi Shastri dropped in at Wimbledon.

“Pant, who had not stayed in the team hotel during the break period, tested positive on 8th July. 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,” stated the BCCI press launch.

And aside from Saha, bowling coach Bharat Arun and standby opener Abhimanyu Easwaran, too, are self-isolating for 10 days in London for being throwdown specialist Garani’s shut contacts. It must be seen if Easwaran is drafted into the principle squad, for Shubman Gill is nursing a leg damage. The Punjab opener, although, hasn’t been dominated out of the sequence.

Asked if Easwaran will get in, a BCCI official stated: “This is a call to be taken by the selectors and the team management. The BCCI doesn’t interfere in selection matters.”

The BCCI allowed the Indian squad members to depart the bubble after the World Test Championship closing that ended on June 23. Now the Indian contingent is taking Lateral Flow Test “on a daily basis to mitigate any further risks”.

The Indian group left for England on June 3 and this 104-day tour is the longest the present lot have ever been to. The first Test in opposition to England in Nottingham commences on August 4, whereas the fifth Test in Manchester finishes on September 14. Ahead of the sequence, India will play a three-day warm-up recreation from Tuesday in opposition to a County XI.

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