IPL 2021 has once again come under a small cloud of uncertainty, with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) pacer T Natarajan testing COVID-19 positive on Wednesday. He is asymptomatic and has self-isolated himself from the rest of the squad.
SRH have also identified six close contacts - all-rounder Vijay Shankar, Vijay Kumar (Team Manager), Shyam Sundar J (Physiotherapist), Anjana Vannan (Doctor), Tushar Khedkar (Logistics Manager), and Periyasamy Ganesan (Net Bowler) who have now been isolated as well.
SRH are slated to play the tournament's 34th match against Delhi Capitals today in Dubai from 7:30 PM onwards. The match will go ahead as planned, as the rest of the SRH team has tested negative for the virus.
T Natarajan returned the positive test sometime between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. All SRH members were then retested around 5:00 AM IST.
First half of IPL 2021 was postponed in a similar scenario
The major scare comes in light of the postponement of the first half of IPL 2021 after a reported bubble breach in the Kolkata Knight Riders camp followed by the emergence of multiple cases in other franchises as well.
However, the bio-bubbles in the UAE are reported to be more stringent and protective against the virus.
It also comes against the backdrop of India's Test series against England. The final match of the tour was canceled after some members of India's coaching staff tested positive for COVID-19.
Although all the players returned negative in the pan-team tests, they were apprehensive to continue playing in the series.