Three Indian cricketers, multiple non-coaching staff test Covid positive

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A COVID-19 outbreak hit the Indian cricket team on Wednesday as three players — senior opener Shikhar Dhawan, reserve opener Ruturaj Gaikwad and middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer tested positive for the virus during their mandatory isolation period before the start of West Indies series.

The Indian team assembled in Ahmedabad on January 31 for the upcoming white-ball series against the West Indies and were going through a three-day isolation period post their break from the South Africa series.

“Three players — Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, and Shikhar Dhawan have tested positive. However, there are multiple COVID positive cases among non-coaching administrative support staff. It could be between two to four people,” a veteran BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

The series starts in Ahmedabad on February 6 with India’s 1000th ODI match but it is now a foregone conclusion that the trio will be missing the series as they will have to undergo week-long isolation and then return with two negative RT-PCR tests.

It is expected that M Shahrukh Khan, R Sai Kishore, Rishi Dhawan, who are stand byes for the series, will now get a look-in to be in the squad.

As far as Rohit Sharma’s opening partner is concerned, Venkatesh Iyer, a specialist opener in the T20 squad, could be tried out.

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