The COVID-19 storm struck Indian Premier League (IPL) on Monday with Kolkata Knight Riders'(KKR) Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier testing positive for the dreaded virus, forcing postponement of the team's game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Ahmedabad this evening. The match will be rescheduled some time later during the tournament, which will conclude on May 30.
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.
"Two members of the contingent have tested positive for COVID but we are waiting for their second test reports to avoid the false positive scenario that happened with Anrich Nortje of Delhi Capitals earlier," the source said on conditions of anonymity.
KKR last played on April 29 against Delhi Capitals in Ahmedabad and the development is bound to trigger some anxiety in the league, which had been going along smoothly so far.
"Now, the DC players will also have to be tested and every member of the team contingents that came in contact with Chakravarthy and Warrier will also be contacted through the app watch that has been given to everyone," the source said.
"The other members of KKR contingent have tested negative but since the second RTPCR report of these two cannot be out before evening, the match couldn't have gone ahead at 7.30pm," he added.
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. The source said BCCI top officials are currently discussing the situation over a conference call. Chakravarthy has appeared in all of KKR matches so far and has been one of their most successful players with seven wickets under his belt.
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. Just days before this, three Australian players had pulled out of the league, citing COVID-19 concerns amid a devastating second wave of the global pandemic that has overwhelmed the medical infrastructure of the country.
India is currently recording over 3 lakh cases everyday and more than 3,000 daily deaths.