Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) opening batsman Devdutt Padikkal becomes the third Indian Premier League (IPL) star to test positive for Covid-19. As a result, the 20-year-old is currently in quarantine.
"Devdutt Padikkal had tested positive on 22nd March 2021. He has been in mandatory quarantine at his residence in Bengaluru since then. He will be fit to join the RCB bio-bubble once his RT-PCR tests are negative," the franchise said in a statement.
"RCB Medical team is in touch with Devdutt ensuring his safety and well-being. Devdutt is feeling well and we can’t wait to have him join the squad for the IPL season ahead."
Nitish Rana and Axar Patel are the other two cricketers who tested positive while under quarantine with their respective teams. Other than the three cricketers, 10 groundsmen at the Wankhede Stadium and a member team of Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) content staff too have been infected by the coronavirus.
The IPL is scheduled to kickstart on April 9 with RCB taking on defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in Chennai. Padikkal was in smashing form in IPL 2020, in which he scored 473 runs at 31.53, at a strike-rate of 124.80, which included five fifties from 15 innings.
He carried on his top form into the Vijay Hazare Trophy as well, where the Karnataka batsman scored 737 runs from seven matches at a whopping 147.40. Padikkal is the first cricketer among those quarantining in Chennai to test positive. Axar and Rana, on the other hand, are in Mumbai. Despite this, the BCCI is keen to host the IPL matches in Mumbai, but have Hyderabad and Indore as standby venues.
This could be a huge blow for RCB considering that Padikkal could miss at least the opening match of the season, if not more. RCB skipper Virat Kohli was tipped to open with the youngster, but the team as things stand, he will have to find another opening partner for at least a game, if not more.