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Chennai team members test positive ahead of IPL

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NEW DELHI: Several members of the Chennai Super Kings contingent have tested positive for coronavirus, local media reported Friday, dealing a blow to their preparations for the Indian Premier League starting in the United Arab Emirates next month.

“A right-arm medium fast bowler, who has recently played for India, along with a few staff members have tested positive for Covid-19,” a source in the IPL was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency.

A management official, his wife and at least two members of their social media team have also tested positive, the source added.

A top Chennai Super Kings (CSK) official did not immediately reply to a query from AFP.

The Times of India said the team will now have to do another week of quarantine following the latest development, delaying their preparations for the eight-team contest.

The T20 tournament, originally scheduled to start in March, was moved from India because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus across the country, the third worst-hit in the world behind the US and Brazil.

The Chennai franchise, led by former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, arrived in Dubai on August 21 and underwent the mandatory six-day quarantine as per IPL guidelines.

The entire CSK squad, including support staff and officials, were tested for the fourth time on Friday, the English-language daily said.

Players can only start training for the behind-closed-doors tournament after passing the tests, and in the tournament bubble they will be barred from contact with anyone who hasn’t undergone the quarantine period.

Three-time winners Chennai finished runners-up in last year’s competition after losing to Mumbai Indians by a run. The IPL is set to begin on September 19 with the finale on November 10.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2020

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