After Chennai Super Kings’ squad reported a handful of COVID-19 positive cases, the IPL suffered another body blow ahead of the 13th edition. One of the members of the STAR production crew, about to leave for the UAE on Monday, tested positive for the virus. It forced the official broadcaster to delay the flights.
Not too long ago, 13 personnel, including two Indian players from the three-time champions’ squad contracted COVID-19. On the other hand, Suresh Raina departed from the UAE for India following some disagreement with the team management.
The two Indian players, who have tested positive are Deepak Chahar and Ruturaj Gaikwad. The yellow army was supposed to play in the opening match of IPL; however, it seems unlikely now.
A trusted source of the BCCI claimed that the first batch of Indian crew members were supposed to reach the UAE by the 31st of August. Their COVID-19 tests were taken hurriedly on Saturday; however, one of the results were positive that led to the postponement of the Emirates flight.
“STAR had asked the first lot of Indian crew members to reach the UAE from India on August 31, after reports of their Covid-19 tests, which were hurriedly done on Saturday on receiving instructions from the broadcaster.
“But one of them has tested positive and on getting this news the broadcaster immediately sent another instruction to all the personnel to defer their August 31 Emirates flight to the UAE,” the source told IANS.
Now, major changes could be effected in the IPL: Sources
Following one crew member of the production team contracting the disease, significant changes could be triggered. It could start with the opening game with the Abu Dhabi and the rise in cases in Abu Dhabi could see stringent protocols in place.
“Now, major changes could be effected in the IPL following a spate of positive Covid-19 test results of team personnel and now a crew member of the production team.
“One could also see changes in the opening game, which was likely to be played in Abu Dhabi, between champions Mumbai Indians and runners-up CSK. One big reason is that the number of positive Covid-19 cases are rising in Abu Dhabi, though initially Dubai and Sharjah were more affected,” the representative asserted.
Furthermore, the authorities do not release the positive instances separately for all seven emirates due to which it is challenging to figure out which is the hotspot. However, as per the current scenario, Abu Dhabi seems the one.
“But the authorities here don’t release the numbers of positive cases separately for all seven emirates; the numbers released are collective for the entire UAE.
“So, one cannot exactly say which emirate is most affected based on number of cases. Nonetheless, Abu Dhabi seems to be most impacted as of now, as can be seen from the strict protocols put in place,” the source added further.