Five junior cricketers are set to join India’s squad in the Under-19 World Cup as back-ups for the players who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently in isolation.
The five cricketers - Uday Saharan (Rajasthan), Abhishek Porel (Bengal), Rishith Reddy (Hyderabad), Ansh Gosai (Saurashtra) and Pushpendra Singh Rathore (Rajasthan) - will leave for Antigua on Saturday and will have to serve a mandatory six-day quarantine upon their arrival.
READ: Dhull among five players unavailable for Uganda game
Sportstar understands that the decision was taken during a conference call between the national junior selectors, the team management that includes National Cricket Academy head of cricket V.V.S Laxman and BCCI authorities on Thursday night. With five Indian players contracting the the virus, the players from the back-up group have been identified as like-for-like replacements.
Four of the five back-up players, barring Porel, were among the reserves announced last month. Porel, a wicketkeeper-batter, has been drafted in place of Amrit Raj Upadhyay, a fellow Bengal left-arm spinner. It is understood that with both the left-arm spinner in the squad in the West Indies being available and in form, it was decided to instead prefer a back-up wicketkeeper.
Despite only 11 players available for its league game on Wednesday, India thrashed Ireland to ensure a place in the knockouts. Of the six players who were suspected to have contracted COVID-19, pacer Vasu Vats has been cleared and will be available for India’s last group game versus Uganda, scheduled on Saturday.
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