Holder and Rutherford Cleared after Natarajan Tests Positive for COVID-19

Jason Holder (pictured) and fellow West Indian Sherfane Rutherford were cleared to play Wednesday’s IPL match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals. (File photo)

Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer T Natarajan tested positive for COVID-19 at a scheduled RT-PCR test at the Indian Premier League (IPL).

An official IPL media release said Natarajan was asymptomatic, and he and six others identified as close contacts have been placed in isolation from the rest of the squad.

The Sunrisers squad including the West Indian pair of Jason Holder and fellow all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford, and all appears to be well with them.

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They were among the group of squad members, including the six close contacts of Natarajan, that at 5 a.m. local time underwent RT-PCR tests, which all came back negative.

Holder and Rutherford are likely to be considered for selection when Sunrisers face Delhi Capitals in a match later Wednesday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Only two of the six isolated squad members are players: all-rounder Vijay Shankar and net bowler G Periyaswamy.

The others are team manager Vijay Kumar, physiotherapist Shyam Sundar, team doctor Anjana Vannan and logistics manager Tushar Khedkar.

All participants in the IPL had to quarantine for six days upon arriving in the United Arab Emirates and undergo testing every two days in the first week, and every fifth day from the second week.

According to the guidelines in place for the IPL, anyone testing positive for Covid-19 must isolate for a minimum of 10 days.

They may rejoin the biosecure bubble after clearing two tests on the ninth and 10 days.

Media reports indicated that Natarajan was fully vaccinated, based on images he posted on his social-media handles recently.

The IPL’s standard operating protocols do not make it mandatory for players and others to be vaccinated.

This is the second time during this year’s IPL, which is now playing in a second stage, that a Sunrisers player has tested positive for Covid-19 after wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman was forced to isolate for two weeks in Delhi after returning a positive test.

Organisers of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup will keep a close eye on developments during this second part of the IPL because the global showpiece is scheduled to be played in the UAE and Oman from October 17.

In May this year, the IPL had to postpone several matches after a surge COVID-19 cases in India impacted several teams, forcing organisers to stage the remaining matches in the UAE.

The World Cup too, was earlier scheduled to be played in India, but it was also moved because of the COVID-19 situation in India.




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