Pat Cummins in isolation as positive virus results wreak havoc on IPL

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, Kolkata Knight Riders fast bowler Pat Cummins.
Two of Aussie star Pat Cummins' Kolkata Knights Riders teammates have tested positive for Covid-19. Pic: IPL

The Indian Premier League has been rocked by two positive Covid-19 cases that threaten the future of the competition in the coronavirus-ravaged country.

Star Aussie fast bowler Pat Cummins has been placed in isolation after two of his Kolkata Knight Riders teammates reportedly contracted the virus.

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Monday's match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata in Ahmedabad has been rescheduled as a result of the positive tests, IPL officials revealed hours before the match was due to start.

Spinner Varun Chakaravarthy and seam bowler Sandeep Warrier were found to be positive in the third round of testing in the last four days, the league said in a statement.

"All other team members have tested negative for COVID-19," it said. 

"Meanwhile, the Kolkata Knight Riders have now moved towards a daily testing routine to identify any other possible cases and treat them at the earliest."

The league authorities did not say when the match would be played.

According to media reports, Chakaravarthy had left the eight-team tournament's bio-secure bubble for a shoulder scan after which the positive cases were reported.

KKR's medical team was tracing close contacts of both the players, the league said.

Cummins and compatriot Ben Cutting are playing for the franchise, while Australian coach David Hussey is part of their support staff.

While Cummins and other teammates remain in isolation, it's understood the allrounder has tested negative.

This IPL season, scheduled to run until May 31, is being played in front of empty stands and amid a backdrop of India's deadly second wave of COVID-19.

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India on Monday reported more than 300,000 new coronavirus cases for a 12th straight day.

It's understood that Cummins, whose IPL contract is worth approximately $3.1 million, is currently healthy and not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

But the superstar paceman now faces daily tests and a nervous wait as the IPL and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seek to control the outbreak.

The bubble breach will set off fresh alarms for BCCI big-wigs plus officials at Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA).

This IPL season, scheduled to run until May 31, is being played in front of empty stands and amid a backdrop of India's deadly second wave of COVID-19.

There is no suggestion the Twenty20 tournament will be suspended, as was the case with the Pakistan Super League earlier this year after several players contracted COVID-19.

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But if the situation deteriorates and that does transpire then Cummins and others in a group of almost 40 Australian players, coaches and officials will be stuck in no man's land.

Australia's federal government is yet to indicate whether a recently-introduced ban on all incoming travellers from India could be extended, but it will run until at least May 15.

Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson last week fled the IPL and returned home, via Qatar, but any Australian attempting that journey now risks jail time and fines.

Some optimistic Australian players remain hopeful that commercial flights will be allowed to resume by the end of the month, while others are bracing for contingency plans that involve a two-week stopover in another nation.

Aussie fast bowler Pat Cummins is seen here taking a selfie.
Pat Cummins is understood to have tested negative for coronavirus but remains in isolation along with his IPL teammates. Pic: Instagram

Cummins, who last week donated $50,000 to help India combat its health crisis, is playing a central role in logistical discussions between stressed Australian cricketers, CA and the ACA.

A potential charter flight, which would need to be approved by federal government, has formed part of those talks.

However, CA chief executive Nick Hockley insisted on Monday "there's no suggestion at the moment of any charter flight".

with agencies

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