COVID outbreak in India Under-19 camp on eve of Ireland match; skipper, deputy infected

With India scheduled to play Uganda on January 22, any more positive cases among the players might see a rejig in the tournament schedule.

Published: 19th January 2022 10:11 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th January 2022 10:18 PM   |  A+A-

Indian U-19 team beat South Africa in their first game of the U-19 World Cup. (Photo | Twitter)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Four members of the India Under-19 team including captain Yash Dhull and vice-captain Shaik Rasheed have tested positive for Covid-19.

Two other players have been placed under isolation and are awaiting RT-PCR results as a depleted Indian team took the field against Ireland in their second group match at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad & Tobago.

It is understood that Siddharth Yadav first tested positive on their arrival in Tarouba after their first match against South Africa in Providence, Guyana. And on Wednesday morning before leaving for the stadium, three other players Dhull, Rasheed and batter Aaradhya Yadav also tested positive in the rapid-antigen tests.

Two other players — Manav Parakh and Vasu Vats —  tested negative in the rapid-antigen tests but have been placed under isolation as a precaution.

According to BCCI sources, as soon as Siddharth tested positive, the entire team underwent RT-PCR tests and all of them were found negative. But three players, including two regulars Dhull and Rasheed testing positive on the morning of the match, meant there were discussions, whether to go ahead with the match.

Ultimately, the International Cricket Council decided to go ahead with it as India had enough players to take the field. Keeping in mind the Covid factor, the ICC has allowed each team to have 17-member squads.

With six players missing, the Indian team had to depend on the support staff to carry the drinks. With India scheduled to play Uganda on Saturday, any more positive cases among the players might see a rejig in the schedule.

The ICC has put in place a relaxed bubble for the World Cup, different from the hard bubbles that were in place for the T20 World Cup. With this being a long tournament and players being young, the ICC believed a relaxed bubble will be sufficient as many of them are entering a bubble-life for the first time.

However, there have been concerns among the Indian team ever since they landed in the Caribbean. While they were used to a hard bubble during their tournaments in India and in the UAE, where they played the Asia Cup, at the World Cup it is understood that there are no dedicated areas for the players in hotels.

For instance, players are using the same lift, entrance and exit as other guests in the hotel and it is understood that hotel staff, who serve the team, are not staying in the bubble.


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