Last year's beaten finalists Delhi Capitals have been dealt with a huge blow ahead of their IPL 2021 campaign after Axar Patel tested positive for coronavirus. The all-rounder is currently in isolation and was with the India team during the Tests and T20Is against England. Patel had checked into the team hotel in Mumbai on March 28 after arriving with a negative Covid-19 report, but has has returned a positive test since.
He is "currently in isolation at a designated medical care facility". The franchise's medical team "is in constant touch with Axar and ensuring his safety and well-being". The Capitals are currently training at the Cricket Club of India premises (Brabourne Stadium), and the club has barred its members from accessing the areas being used by the franchise.
Patel was with the India team - Tests and T20Is against England - till recently, and made a remarkable start to his Test career in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja. He played three of the four Tests of the series, and picked up 27 wickets - joint-most with Dilip Doshi (against Australia in 1979) for most wickets by an Indian in his maiden Test series. He also played the first T20I of the five-match series, on March 12, the last time he was in action.
Earlier this week, the Knight Riders confirmed that Nitish Rana tested positive for Covid-19 in late March. Rana tested positive for the virus in the second round of testing conducted by the club, but the franchise confirmed two days ago that the left-handed batsman had returned a negative result in the latest round of testing.
As per the BCCI SOP, a player who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate in the designated area outside the bio-secure environment for a minimum of 10 days from the first day of symptoms or the date of collection of the sample which resulted in a positive RT-PCR report, whichever is earlier. "During the 10-day isolation, the individual must rest and avoid any exercises. The team doctor should regularly monitor the case. If symptoms worsen during the course of isolation, the individual must be hospitalised immediately ".
As such, the situation in Mumbai, as well as other parts of the country, is rather grim, with a fresh spike in Covid-19 cases, which the chief minister of Maharashtra (of which Mumbai is a part) Uddhav Thakeray has called a "second wave". Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad are the six host centres for 2021 IPL, which will start on April 9, with Hyderabad identified as a contingency option in case one or more of the six designated cities cannot host matches.
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