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SRH's Natarajan tests positive, IPL match goes ahead

Source: PTI
Last updated on: September 22, 2021 23:49 IST
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IMAGE: Sunrisers Hyderabad left-arm pacer Thangarasu Natarajan, who is coming back from a knee surgery, has been isolated along with six close contacts. Photograph: BCCI

Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Thangarasu Natarajan has tested positive for COVID-19 but the team's IPL match against Delhi Capitals on Wednesday was played as scheduled, the BCCI said.

 

Left-arm pacer Natarajan, who is coming back from a knee surgery, has been isolated along with six close contacts which also include out of favour India all-rounder Vijay Shankar.

"Sunrisers Hyderabad player T Natarajan tested positive for COVID-19 at a scheduled RT-PCR test. The player has isolated himself from the rest of the squad. He is currently asymptomatic," a BCCI release stated.

"The rest of the contingent including the close contacts underwent RT-PCR tests at 5AM local time this morning and the test reports are negative.

"As a result, tonight's game between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals will go ahead at the Dubai International Stadium, Dubai," it further added.

The close contacts identified by the medical team also include Vijay Kumar(Team Manager), Shyam Sundar J (Physiotherapist), Anjana Vannan (Doctor), Tushar Khedkar (Logistics Manager), and Periyasamy Ganesan (Net Bowler).

As per the IPL's Standard Operating Procedure, Natarajan will now have to isolate for 10 days and test negative twice before being allowed back into the bubble.

The development is a major blow to SRH, who could not avail his services in the first leg due to injury. Natarajan has picked 20 wickets from 24 matches in the IPL.

The IPL resumed in Dubai on Sunday after it had to be halted in May due to multiple COVID-19 cases in its bio-bubble when the event was being staged in India.

Even at that time, SRH was affected when senior wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha tested positive.

The T20 league was suspended once his report came out, adding to the three cases that had been detected before that.

A source said that IPL is no longer using a mobile app to track close contacts, which was a norm during the last edition in the UAE, and are relying on the afflicted person's inputs to monitor the spread.

"We don't know but that contact tracing app was a very good way to track bubble breaches, if any. I think this is a cost-cutting measure by the BCCI," the source said.

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