Pace bowler T Natarajan, who plays for TeamIndia and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), screened positive for COVID-19 just before the Indian Premier League (IPL-2021) match versus Delhi Capitals (DC) on Wednesday (22 September). Even though strong safeguards and processes for COVID-19 associated standards were observed in the UAE, the report came as a complete shock to the organizers and the rest of the Teams.
Despite the fact that the SRH and DC matches carried on, the positive Natarajan screening has caused a lot of concern among the organizers. Interestingly, the first part of the IPL was delayed owing to an increase of COVID-19 cases in India’s bio-bubble atmosphere. Natarajan is now asymptomatic, and his 6 close contacts have been isolated. The players’ RT-PCR testing is performed on a regular basis.
We are getting all the support in the UAE Regards COVID: BCCI
However, even when the organizers in the UAE take the necessary precautions and safeguards, the fear of COVID-19 remains. The BCCI, on the other hand, is enthusiastic about the IPL’s success.
“Yes, we are worried but there is no need to press the panic button right now. Let’s hope for the best. We are getting all the support in the UAE (related to CIOVID),” a senior BCCI official said.
Besides the match among SRH and DC, another game featuring Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) went as planned. According to the medical team’s instructions, Natarajan is also doing well. SRH is yet to provide an update on when the pacer will be cleared to play in the next 6-games of the IPL’s UAE leg.
SRH’s season is not proceeding well at the moment, and even a vacation from the IPL-2021 would not be enough to prevent their losses. Their comeback match in the UAE did not go as planned, as they were defeated by DC by 7 wickets. They have only won 1 game so far and are now ranked bottom in the standings. With 6 games remaining, SRH is hoping for a comeback to change their fate.
However, the news of Sherfane Rutherford’s come back home at this point is a major setback for SRH management. It’ll be interesting to watch whether the team names a substitute player.