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India-England test series: Rishabh Pant, throwdown specialist Covid positive, 3 other isolated

Hours after India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant was reported Covid positive, Indian cricket team’s throwdown specialist Dayanand Garani has tested positive for Covid-19 in England ahead of the five match Test series.

Expressing fear for India-England series, former England captain and commentator Michael Vaughan Michael Vaughan said that the Ashes later in the year could be affected by players pulling out due to the current quarantine rules.

Currently, the Indian cricket team is coached by Ravi Shastri, with R Sridhar (fielding), Bharath Arun (bowling) and Vikram Rathour (batting) as assistants.

The Covid positive cases in the squad have reported with just over a fortnight to go for the first Test at Trent Bridge that begins on August 4.

PTI reported that Wriddhiman Saha, bowling coach Bharat Arun and standby opener Abhimanyu Easwaran have been isolated as they were in close contacts and will not join the team bubble in Durham. This means that both Pant and Saha will miss the practice match in Durham that begins on July 20.

Pant has tested Covid positive in England and is staying in home isolation at the moment at his relatives place and is likely to join the tour in Durham later.

Last month, Pant was seen attending a Euro championship match at London’s Wembley Stadium and had even posted pictures on social media. He underwent a test after experiencing low grade fever.

The team was on three-week break after the completion of the ICC World Test Championship final, which India lost to New Zealand.

The development comes close on the heels of BCCI secretary Jay Shah sending an e-mail to the Indian contingent, warning it about the rising cases of Delta variant of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom. It is understood that Pant has been afflicted by the Delta variant which has led to rising number of cases in England.

Issuing a warning to the players in his letter, Shah urged the players to avoid crowded places specifically the Wimbledon and Euro Championships, both of which recently concluded there.

In a first of 5 match test series, Indian will lock horns against England on August 4 following a practice match on July 20 as a build-up to the high-intensity series.

Recently, the England team too was hit by the Covid and was forced to field an altogether different XI in a limited-overs match against Pakistan.

The Covid-19 has also hit the Tokyo Olympics just 8 days before the showpiece event is scheduled to begin on July 23 as an athlete tested positive for Covid-19 during the 14-day quarantine period in Japan’s capital city.

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In other India News, West Bengal CM and the Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee would visit Delhi in July end to meet with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and other opposition leaders.

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