Team India has already been dealt a major blow with their Prime Minister off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin missing the flight to England after testing COVID-19 positive. Just hours after landing in England, photos of Team India captain Rohit Sharma and former captain Virat Kohli emerged as the duo met some eager fans in England.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) doesn’t want to be caught taking a nap in the UK and will likely warn players to meet fans and go out mask-less. Last week, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli clicked with fans in Leicester and London as India prepared for the warm-up match against Leicestershire County Cricket Club.
“The Covid threat has diminished in the UK. Still, players need to be more careful. We will ask the team to be a little careful,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal told InsideSport.
In the UK, COVID-19 is very much alive and the country reports more than 10,000 new cases every day. To ensure player safety, a positive COVID-19 result will place the player in isolation for 5 days and that could exclude him from the Edgbaston test.
The itinerant Indian side would be playing a four-day game, which gives them a great opportunity to get used to the conditions and the swinging ball. It is a team of 17 members. While all players have made it to the UK, only Ashwin has not taken the plane because he tested positive for COVID. The management hopes he will recover in time and be available for the fifth Test.
Meanwhile, after IPL 2022, Ashwin had played a red ball match of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) League where he bowled 20 overs to get some long playing time. The rest of the Indian squad is already in Leicester and started training under the guidance of bowling coach Paras Mhambrey and batting coach Vikram Rathour.
Rahul Dravid, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer have reached London after completing the T20I assignment against South Africa and will travel to Leicester on Tuesday. The Irish team under VVS Laxman will leave for Dublin on June 23 or 24, as the team members have been given three days of rest.
(with input from the agency)