In a major development, at least 10 members of IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings – including a current India limited-overs bowler and several members of its staff – have tested positive for Covid-19 in Dubai on Friday. The result came out a day after the CSK squad and support staff were tested on Thursday. Although the names are unknown, this seems to be the reason behind CSK delaying the start of their practice – originally scheduled to start Friday – by a few days.
The development has forced CSK to extend the quarantine period till September 1. The report also suggests that the entire CSK contingent has had to undergo a fourth Covid-19 test on Friday to gauge its spread. CSK reached the Emirates on August 21 and as per the protocols dictated by the BCCI, the teams are to undergo three Covid-19 tests before they could start practice.
“Yes, a right-arm medium fast bowler, who has recently played for India, along with a few staff members have tested positive for Covid-19,” a senior IPL source told PTI on conditions of anonymity. “As far as we know, one of the senior-most officials of the CSK management and his wife, and at least two members of their social media team are also Covid-19 positive.”
The results of the test are expected to be out Saturday. This means that CSK will be the last team to hold its team practice, although its players were part of a six-day preparatory camp in Chennai before leaving for the Emirates. MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar along with bowling coach L Balaji were some of those involved in the camp.
As per IPL protocols, the players were to be tested on the first, third and sixth days of the quarantine period and would be allowed to train only if they return negative results in all three tests.
The news will come as a massive setback to CSK as some teams have already begun their preparations for the tournament.
On Friday, RCB’s Twitter handle had tweeted pictures of Virat Kohli and the other team members enjoying some downtime after the end of their quarantine period.
Sixty games will be played over 53 days across three venues in the UAE — Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.