IPL 2021 – Covid-19 in IPL: Covid-19 has again breached IPL fortress, this time in UAE. T.Natarajan tested positive on Wednesday and isolated at this stage along with his 6 close contacts. The episode has made the IPL franchises & played not only worried but also upset. Upset because, franchises feel ‘unlike the last IPL in UAE, BCCI this time is not taking full protection against Covid-19’. Two of the IPL franchise officials InsideSport.co spoke to on Wednesday evening also questioned BCCI on ‘why the contact tracing app is not being used this time’
A franchise source presently in Dubai confirmed to InsideSport.co that the ‘organisers are no longer using a mobile app to track close contacts, which was a norm during the last edition in the UAE,’
The franchise source was not only upset but also very surprised that ‘BCCI is cutting cost on such a small thing. The contact tracing app was a very good way to track bubble breaches, but BCCI is not using the same this time and are are relying on the afflicted person’s inputs to monitor the spread’
Another franchise InsideSport.co spoke to also confirmed the non-usage of the contact tracing app. The said franchise official also went to the extent of saying that one or two more breaches like what happened with Natarajan, can again derail the event.
“It is unfortunate, very worrying. One or two more instances like what happened with SRH camp can derail the league again. BCCI & everyone else need to take more precautions”
IPL 2021: Franchises ‘upset’ with the BCCI as Covid-19 breaches IPL again, asks ‘why no contact tracing app?’
IPL 2021 – Covid-19 in IPL: On their part, BCCI is confident and sure about the measures taken by them. InsideSport.co has learnt that after Natarajan incident, BCCI has further sent a communique to all franchises to be ‘extra-cautious’ going forward. The board has asked teams to strictly follow social distancing norms, wear masks while traveling in team buses, practice sessions and with-in hotel premises.
“We are extremely baffled on what has happened with Natarajan. All protection, measures have been taken by BCCI. SRH management told us that Natarajan right from the Day 1 of landing in UAE hasn’t moved out of BIO-BUBBLE. It can be, that while boarding or in-flight to UAE he got infected but for now we are completely unaware. He is isolated for now along with his close contacts and we are vigilant about the entire SRH team now’, informed one of the BCCI official to InsideSport.
The development is a major blow to SRH, who could not avail his services in the first leg due to injury. The 30-year-old Natarajan has 20 IPL wickets from 24 matches that he has played. The IPL resumed here on Sunday after it had to be halted in May due to multiple COVID cases in its bio-bubble when the event was being staged in India.
Even at that time, SRH was affected when senior wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha tested positive. The league was suspended once his report came out, adding to the three cases that had been detected before that.
IPL 2021: Natarajan tests positive, other franchises, players worried
IPL 2021 – Covid-19 in IPL: Natarajan episode has also made the other franchises & players worried. BCCI decided to go ahead with the game on Wednesday despite of the positive test of Natarajan. For now, Natarajan is in complete isolation and will be monitored continuously. He can join the team back only after 10 days and two negative results.
Even the close contacts of Natarajan i.e Vijay Shankar (Player). Vijay Kumar(Team Manager), Shyam Sundar J (Physiotherapist), Anjana Vannan (Doctor), Tushar Khedkar (Logistics Manager), and Periyasamy Ganesan (Net Bowler) – will stay in isolation for now and will be monitored continuously.
The other franchises & players are also a worried lot now & as instructed by BCCI will stay more vigilant and careful about the BIO-BUBBLE put up by BCCI in UAE.