Indian Cricket Team to Continue Break Outside Bio Bubble Despite England Squad’s Covid-19 Scare
Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma enjoying the break from cricket with their families in England (Pic: Instagram/rahane).
The Indian cricket team players, who are in the UK for a five-Test series against England, will continue their 20-day break despite news coming out about England's ODI team being forced into isolation after players testing positive for the coronavirus.
Three unnamed England players and four support staff have tested positive for the virus, just 48 hours after the conclusion of their ODI series against Sri Lanka. England were forced to announce a new squad under Ben Stokes for the upcoming ODI series against Pakistan.
"We are aware of the situation. Obviously, the ECB and the local health authorities will provide us with any change in existing health safety protocols and that will be strictly followed," a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
"But we haven't been told anything as of now. The players have not yet been told to cut short their downtime," he added.
At present, most of the players are in and around London, enjoying time off with their families and partners. A few are in the countryside. Once the players assemble in London, they are expected to be tested again and then allowed to enter the bio-bubble.
The Indian players are set to convene in London on July 14 and proceed to Durham for a two-week training cum first-class game against Select County XI.
The five-Test series between India and England is set to be played in front of packed crowds after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lifting of COVID-19 related restrictions on Monday. India and New Zealand had played the World Test Championship final in front of a limited crowd.
England has seen a rise in Delta-3 variant cases in the country.
"We're in unprecedented territory in terms of replacing an entire squad and management team," said Ashley Giles, director of England's men's cricket.
Not all players in the England first choice squad were fully vaccinated.
"We have been mindful that the emergence of the delta variant, along with our move away from the stringent enforcement of bio-secure environments, could increase the chances of an outbreak," ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said.
"We made a strategic choice to try to adapt protocols, in order to support the overall wellbeing of our players and management staff who have spent much of the last 14 months living in very restricted conditions."
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