Rishabh Pant, support staff test positive for COVID-19 in England, to miss tour game

Rishabh Pant and throwdown specialist Dayananda Garani are isolating in London and won't travel to Durham, where India will play a tour game against Select County XI.

Rishabh Pant is set to undergo another round of testing on Sunday. - AP

Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the five-match Test series against England. Throwdown specialist Dayananda Garani, too, has tested positive as the players prepare to regroup ahead of the Test series after enjoying a 20-day break following the World Test Championship final.

Sportstar understands that Pant had a sore throat before testing positive on July 8. The wicketkeeper-batsman has enjoyed tremendous success over the past year and is currently in isolation in London. He won’t travel to Durham for India’s tour game against a Select County XI, which is scheduled to start on July 20.

"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," BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.

Wriddhiman Saha, Bharat Arun isolated

Pant is expected to undergo another round of testing on Sunday. After Garami tested positive, Bharat Arun, Wriddhiman Saha and Abhimanyu Easwaran - who were in close contact with him - have isolated and will not travel to Durham.

"The four personnel will undergo 10-day isolation and will remain in their respective rooms in the team hotel in London," Shah said.

Three other players - a spinner, a pacer and a reserve pacer - served isolation period before being cleared to enter the biosecure bubble and board the bus to Durham.

“One player has tested positive but he has been in isolation for the last eight days. He was not staying in any hotel with the team, so no other player has been affected. But I can't divulge the name of the player,” BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla told PTI.

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'No changes in plan'

Last week, the players received the second dose of the Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine. However, it is not clear whether Pant developed symptoms after taking the jab.

India head coach Ravi Shastri attended the Wimbledon final between Novak Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini.   -  PTI


"The entire Indian contingent including travelling family members and caretakers were administered with the second dose of Covid vaccine earlier this month in London. To mitigate any further risks, the Indian contingent is taking the lateral flow test on a daily basis," Shah said.

With the U.K. witnessing a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, BCCI secretary Jay Shah had emailed the Indian team recently, asking them to be careful and not visit crowded places and attend events like the Wimbledon and the Euros. The Indian coach Ravi Shastri, however, was seen attending the Wimbledon men’s singles final. Pant and a few other players had earlier attended the Euros at Wembley.

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The National Health Service in England, which has been conducting tests on the Indian players, is expected to notify the name soon.

The Indian players will be camping in Durham for the next couple of weeks and after this incident, the Board is extremely careful about the safety of the players. “We are in constant touch with the team management and we will do whatever is required to keep everyone safe. The testing will be done regularly,” an official added.

Last week, several members of the England cricket team tested positive for the coronavirus and the ECB had to field a second-string team against Pakistan.

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