AHMEDABAD: The Indian Premier League was forced into its first coronavirus postponement this season on Monday after two players tested positive despite the tournament’s bio-secure “bubble”.
The Kolkata Knight Riders’ match against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore was called off just hours before its start in Ahmedabad after Varun Chakaravarthy and Sandeep Warrier became infected.
The positive cases come as India’s massive coronavirus surge raises questions about the IPL and concerns over the country’s hosting of the Twenty20 World Cup in October and November.
Chakaravarthy and Warrier “have isolated themselves from the rest of the squad” after testing positive, an IPL statement said. “All other team members have tested negative for Covid-19,” it added.
The league set up bio-secure bubbles around the eight teams before the tournament as a devastating wave of cases swept across India. The country is recording about 360,000 cases and 3,500 deaths a day and has been hit by chronic shortages of hospital beds and oxygen.
The IPL said its doctors were in “continuous touch” with Chakaravarthy, a 29-year-old spinner, and 30-year-old fast bowler Warrier, and were monitoring their health. Media reports said the pair may have been infected when they left their team hotel for injury check-ups.
“The medical team is also determining the close and casual contacts of the two positive cases during the 48 hours prior to collection of the sample that returned the positive test results,” said the statement.