Home / Sports / Cricket News /  IPL 2020: Two players among 13 who have tested positive for Covid-19, says BCCI

New Delhi: The IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings faced yet another setback on Saturday with one more player testing positive for coronavirus.

Two players are now down with the virus and in extended quarantine, according to media reports and doubts are growing whether the three-time champions will take part in the gala opening game on September 19.

The much-delayed Indian Premier League (IPL) has been moved to the United Arab Emirates because of the growth of the pandemic in India and teams are being kept in strict isolation bubbles.

The player in question is a right-handed top-order batsman, who has been a part of India A teams in recent past and is a prolific performer in Ranji Trophy. On Friday, a T20 specialist pacer had tested positive along with 12 members of the contingent in Dubai.

Board of Control for Cricket in India said two players are among 13 who have tested positive for Covid-19 after 1,988 RT-PCR tests conducted across all participant groups of IPL.

"Upon landing in the UAE, all IPL participants have followed a mandatory testing and quarantine programme. Total of 1,988 RT-PCR COVID tests were carried out between August 20th – 28th. 13 personnel have tested positive of which two are players," said BCCI.

"All the affected as well as their close contacts are asymptomatic and have been isolated from other team members. They are being monitored by the IPL Medical Team," said BCCI.

The franchise is yet to issue a formal statement but a league source told PTI that the number of positive cases could be between 10 and 12.

The development has forced the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side to extend the quarantine period till September 1.

While there is panic in the BCCI's rank and file after this but it is understood that for the time being, there is no imminent threat to the league, shifted out of India this year due to the pandemic.

The scheduling convention followed in the IPL is two finalists of the previous year playing the inaugural game which would have been Chennai Super Kings and defending champions Mumbai Indians this season.

However, it's still not clear if CSK would be ready for the September 19 league opener.

In yet another blow to CSK's IPL chances, its ace batsman Suresh Raina has pulled out of the Indian Premier League citing "personal reasons".

The 33-year-old had retired from international cricket earlier this month.

"Suresh Raina has returned to India for personal reasons and will be unavailable for the remainder of the IPL season. Chennai Super Kings offers complete support to Suresh and his family during this time," CSK tweeted CEO Kasi Viswanathan's statement.

"Suresh's absence will be a big blow for the CSK and also, he is one of the biggest draws in IPL. But in these times, if any player doesn't feel 100 per cent and has some other pressing priorities, any team respects that and CSK is no different," a senior IPL official privy to development in CSK camp told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

While it couldn't be officially confirmed but speculation was rife that a family tragedy coupled by spike in COVID-19 cases in the team might have disturbed the former India left-hander who retired on August 15 alongside his skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

While it is understood that the tournament is not under threat as of now but one franchise becoming a "COVID-19 hotspot" is slowly becoming an issue for other teams as well as the BCCI.

"If there are 13 cases from only one franchise then it is an issue for sure for everyone. The biggest aspect will be whether foreign cricketers will now start being panicky as they are more touchy about these issues," an official said.

"We need to keep a tab on players' mental health," he added.

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