India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant has tested positive for Covid-19 and as a result, will not travel to Durham with the team, where they are likely to play a warm-up match. Pant, who attended a Euro championship match at the Wembley Stadium recently, has been put under isolation and is believed to be asymptomatic
"He is in quarantine at an acquaintance's place and won't be travelling with the team to Durham on Thursday," he said without divulging when the 23-year-old will join the squad.
BCCI sectary Jay Shah had warned the players and coaching staff against going to the Euros and Wimbledon, but despite this, there were a few including Pant, Jasprit Bumrah head coach Ravi Shastri among others who went ahead with their plans anyway.
"Yes, one player has tested positive but he has been in isolation for the last eight days. He was not staying in any hotel with the team, so no other player has been affected," BCCI Vice President Rajiv Shukla told PTI.
"As of now, no other player has tested positive. Also, you must be aware our secretary Jay Shah has written a letter to all players to maintain protocols," Shukla added.
It is understood that Pant has been afflicted by the Delta variant which has led to the rising number of cases in England.
Shah, in his letter, told the players to "avoid" crowded places as Covishield, the vaccine which has been given to the team only provides protection, not full immunity against the virus. In fact, Shah's letter had specifically stated that players should avoid going to the Wimbledon and Euro Championships, both of which recently concluded there.
The Indian team is due to take on England in a five-match Test series starting August 4. It will play a practice game starting July 20 as a build-up to the high-intensity series. The India-England showdown marks the beginning of the second cycle of the World Test Championship (WTC). Recently, the England team too was hit by the virus and was forced to field ab altogether different XI in a limited-overs match against Pakistan.
(With inputs from PTI)