KKR-RCB match postponed after Chakravarthy, Warrier tested positive

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PTI

New Delhi

A COVID-19 outbreak left the star-sprinkled IPL on tenterhooks as Kolkata Knight Riders’ Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for the dreaded virus, forcing postponement of their game against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The match, which was to be held in Ahmedabad on Monday evening, will be rescheduled some time later during the tournament, which will conclude on May 30.

“Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier were found to be positive in the third round of testing in the last four days. All other team members have tested negative for COVID-19,” the league, which features the biggest names in international cricket, said in a press release.

Leg-spinner Chakravarthy and pacer Warrier, both 30, have been isolated and the rest of the KKR contingent has returned negative reports for now. Of the two, Warrier has not yet made the playing XI in any of the seven matches KKR have played.

“The Medical Team is in continuous touch with the duo and are monitoring their health. 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 IPL stated.

“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,” it added.

KKR last played on April 29 against Delhi Capitals in Ahmedabad and the development is bound to trigger anxiety in the league, which had been going along smoothly so far in a bio-secure bubble in front of empty stands.

“Now, the DC players (currently in Ahmedabad) will also have to be tested and every member of the team contingents that came in contact with Chakravarthy and Warrier will also be contact traced through the app watch that has been given to everyone,” a BCCI source said.

According to IPL’s Standard Operating Procedure for COVID-19 management, any close contact of an infected person has to isolate for six days and return three negative tests on days 1, 3 and 6.

It is learnt that KKR’s pace spearhead Pat Cummins revealed the latest development to all the Australian players in the IPL after Chakravarthy, while undergoing some shoulder scans for a niggle after Thursday’s game, tested positive for the virus. Chakravarthy has appeared in all of KKR’s matches so far and been one of their most successful players with seven wickets under his belt.

KKR and CSK had clashed on April 21 in Mumbai.

IPL had dealt with positive cases before the tournament started, including some high-profile names like Axar Patel and Devdutt Padikkal.

However, this is the first instance of positive cases in the middle of the tournament.

“The BCCI and the Kolkata Knight Riders prioritise the health and safety of everyone involved and all measures are being taken in that endeavour,” the IPL stated.