Express News Service
CHENNAI: The fate of the fifth and final Test of the Pataudi Trophy hangs in the balance as India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar too have tested positive for COVID-19. This takes the number of positive cases in the team to three after head coach Shastri tested positive on Saturday.
Day 5 of the fourth Test got underway as scheduled on Monday with all the players returning COVID negative in the lateral flow test in the morning, but the BCCI medical team is keeping a close tab.
Although the entire Indian team, including players and support staff, are fully vaccinated, there are concerns in the BCCI as all three were part of the dressing room till Saturday which could have exposed the players too.
Although none of the players have showed any symptoms so far, the BCCI is keeping its fingers crossed and believes the next 24-48 hours will be crucial. India are scheduled to leave for Manchester on Tuesday, but with Arun and Sridhar testing positive, it is not clear who their close contacts are. As per local health guidelines, their close contacts are supposed to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine.
As things stand, the BCCI is understood to be co-ordinating with the England and Wales Cricket Board and unless there are more positive cases in the camp, the fifth Test would go ahead as scheduled. However, in case any of the players who are featuring in the Oval Test test positive, it could put the series in danger as rescheduling the Manchester Test is ruled out with the IPL set to resume on September 19 in the UAE.