T Natarajan, SunRisers Hyderabad
IPL 2021: SunRisers Hyderabad Announce T Natarajan's Short-Term Covid Replacement

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have added Umran Malik to their squad as a short-term Covid-19 replacement for Thangarasu Natarajan for the second leg of IPL 2021. Natarajan had earlier tested positive for the virus prior to the SRH’s match against Delhi Capitals (DC) on September 22.

Malik was already part of the Hyderabad set up as a net bowler but has been upgraded since. He has played one T20 and List A match for Jammu & Kashmir, picking up four wickets in the process. Malik will accompany the team as confirmed by an IPL release.

T Natarajan
T Natarajan (Image Credit: Twitter)

According to Regulation 6.1 (c), franchisees are permitted to bring in a short-term replacement cricketer until the original squad member, in this case, Natarajan, is cleared to re-enter the bio-bubble. Therefore, Malik will be part of the side until Natarajan completes his isolation period and returns to the team.

The rest of SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) squad members tested negative in their RT-PCR tests

The BCCI confirmed that the rest of the SRH squad members tested negative in their tests and will continue training. However, six people, including all-rounder Vijay Shankar, were deemed to be in close contact with Natarajan and will undergo isolation.

Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar (Image Credit: Twitter)

Natarajan needs to test negative twice before he is allowed to enter the bubble. A BCCI official, who is tracking the developments, felt that SRH could have done better with their travel protocols in order to avoid the complications.

It’s weird that Natarajan tested positive on the 11th day of his arrival from India. It might effectively mean IPL’s Covid protocol policy remains questionable. I don’t think IPL operation team should have allowed SRH to arrive that late. In case you are arriving late, then it should have been a 14-day quarantine,” the official stated.

SunRisers Hyderabad., Vijay Shankar
Sunrisers Hyderabad [Image-IPLT20]
As for SRH’s performance in the IPL, their misery continues after they lost comprehensively to table-toppers, Delhi Capitals. They are now languishing at the bottom of the table with one win in eight games.

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