T Natarajan positive of SRH for COVID-19, BCCI conducts two tests for confirmation

Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer T Natarajan has been kept in solitary confinement after a second RT-PCR test positive for Kovid-19 against a BCCI-ordered player.

The 30-year-old was tested positive on Tuesday in the normal round of tests, despite no symptoms. However, the BCCI decided to conduct a second test because the board had previously faced cases of players with false positive results. The second test began Wednesday morning. All players in the franchise are advised to stay alone in their rooms until the results are released.

Following Natarajan’s positive result, six other close associates of the Hyderabad team were left alone.

According to a press release, all-rounder Vijay Shankar, team manager Vijay Kumar, physio Shyam Sunder J, Dr Anjana Vannan, logistics manager Tushar Khedkar and net bowler Periyasamy Ganesan have been identified as the six close associates.

“The rest of the troops, including close acquaintances, underwent RT-PCR tests at 5 AM local time this morning and the test reports were negative,” the statement said.

Despite the positive test, the BCCI on Wednesday decided that the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Hyderabad-Fit and Delhi Capitals would continue as scheduled in Dubai and allow negatively tested players to play.

However, the BCCI has informed all teams that players and support staff must wear masks while traveling on the team bus for practice sessions. At the same time, the cricket body stressed the need for players and team management to adhere to social distance everywhere.

“We don’t know how this happened and if there was any violation? We are trying to find out but we told everyone to be careful,” a BCCI official said.

“The players are in a biosecure bubble and Natarajan was alone here for six days before joining the team. It is difficult to say where he got the virus from.”

Natarajan has taken 20 IPL wickets in 24 matches. The IPL 2021 season resumed on Sunday after a bio-secure bubble was set up during the event in India earlier this year but had to be halted in May due to multiple Kovid-19 cases.

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