NEW DELHI: The U-19 India team playing the World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) has witnessed an outbreak of Covid-19 infections. Four boys, including captain Yash Dhull and vice-captain Shaikh Rasheed, tested positive while Vasu Vats and Manav Parakh showed symptoms before Wednesday’s match against Ireland. Nishant Sindhu walked out to lead the team as the team management and selectors struggled to put up a playing XI.
Dhull, Rashid and Aaradhya Yadav tested positive in the rapid antigen test (RAT) on the morning of the match while Siddharth Yadav’s RT-PCR tests came positive on Tuesday night. Dhull and Rasheed were at the venue before the start of the game.
According to the Indian cricket board’s (BCCI), the RT-PCR tests of Dhull, Rasheed, Vats and Parakh are awaited. Vats and Parakh have tested negative in the RAT.
🚨 UPDATE 🚨: India Under 19 – Medical UpdateThe India U19 squad currently taking part in the ICC Under 19 Men’s Cr… https://t.co/caprEzs7in
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1642611316000
The team had travelled to T&T after winning their opening match against South Africa in Guyana on January 15. India are due to play their last group match on January 22 against Uganda at the same venue.
ICC, on its part, went into the tournament with a commitment to finish the tournament irrespective of Covid cases. “We will get some positive cases at some stage and we will be flexible with the scheduling. We have already adjusted once to accommodate the late arrival of Afghanistan. One positive case won’t stop a match,” ICC CEO Geoff Allardice had said last week.
Unlike the recent Men’s T20 World Cup in UAE, ICC preferred to have multiple venues, leading to a lot of travel in this tournament. “The teams travel only after the group stage. We have got four islands involved because we needed the flexibility and contingencies if changes were made to the schedule. It’s not a strict bubble. We ensured there’s some freedom given they will be there for a month to enjoy the experience of being part of such a tournament,” Allardice had told TOI.
It will be interesting to see how the ICC navigates after this outbreak. A win against Ireland is likely to guarantee India a place in the quarterfinals which will not start before January 26.