The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been taking the strictest of measures to conduct the Indian Premier League (IPL) without any hassle. It has succeeded to do so up to some extent but the recent Covid-19 outburst in the Delhi Capitals camp has rung the alarm bells.
The virus has taken a massive toll on the tournament in the past two years. In 2020, when the pandemic occurred for the first time, the league had to be postponed and was carried out completely in the UAE. In the following year, it returned to India but after a few games, the tournament had to be called off as multiple cases surfaced inside its bio-bubble. Once again, the teams had to travel to the UAE for the conclusion of the season.
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This year, the board came up with a new plan – carrying out the tournament across 2 cities, Mumbai and Pune, to avoid the risk of infection. However, the current situation seems to be indicating a repetition of last year’s scenario.
Let’s have a look at the timeline of Covid-19 affecting the IPL 2022:
First case in DC camp
On April 15, the league issued an official statement that Delhi Capitals’ physio Patrick Farhart tested positive for Covid-19. It added that he was being closely monitored by the DC Medical Team. However, the development didn’t impact their fixture against Royal Challengers the next day which Rishabh Pant & Co lost by 16 runs.
Mitch Marsh getting hospitalised
2 days after making his debut for Delhi Capitals, Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh returned a positive test. He became the first player to contract the virus this season. The franchise confirmed the news through a social media post on April 18 stating, “Delhi Capitals all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has tested positive for COVID-19, following which he has been admitted to a hospital. The Delhi Capitals medical team is closely monitoring Marsh’s condition.”
Cases shoot up
After Farhart and Marsh, DC team doctor Abhijit Salvi, a member of the social media team and a masseur were reportedly tested positive for Covid-19. The tally has gone up to five which was a matter of grave concern.
The DC squad was supposed to travel to Pune for their next fixture against Punjab Kings but they were told to retire to their respective rooms.
“The COVID positive cases are under isolation and medical observation. They will be tested on Day 6 and 7 and subject to both the tests being negative they will be re-integrated into the Delhi Capitals bio-secured bubble. From April 16th onwards, the entire Delhi Capitals contingent has been put under a daily RT-PCR testing procedure. The 4th round of RT-PCR tests conducted on April 19th have returned negative,” read an official IPL statement.
Change in venue – from MCA Stadium, Pune to Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
The rise in the number of cases forced the BCCI to make changes in the venue of the game on Tuesday evening; April 19.
“BCCI on Tuesday announced a change of venue for Match No. 32 – Delhi Capital versus Punjab Kings from MCA Stadium, Pune to Brabourne – CCI scheduled on April 20th, 2022, to avoid any further incident due to any undetected case during a long-distance bus journey in a closed environment,” the official IPL statement read.
Tim Siefert testing positive on match day
Hours before the DC vs PBKS clash on Wednesday, New Zealand wicket-keeper batsman Tim Seifert became the 2nd Delhi Capitals player to test positive for the virus. Seifert had trained with the team yesterday.
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The positive case emerged after a fresh round of testing conducted on Wednesday morning, according to a BCCI source as per PTI. “As far as we know, Tim Seifert of New Zealand has tested positive,” said a BCCI source.
Venue for DC vs RR changed
On April 20, the BCCI announced a change of venue for the IPL 2022 match no. 34, between Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals, scheduled for April 22. The game has been shifted from MCA Stadium, Pune to Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
The decision on the change of venue was made as a precautionary measure after Seifert returned a positive test.
Full list of DC members who have contracted the virus so far (datewise):
Patrick Farhat – Physiotherapist (tested positive on April 15th)
Chetan Kumar – Sports Massage Therapist (tested positive on April 16th)
Mitchell Marsh – Player (tested positive on April 18th)
Dr Abhijit Salvi – Team doctor (tested positive on April 18th)
Akash Mane – Social Media Content team member (tested positive on April 18th)
Tim Seifert – Player (tested positive on April 20th)
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