With just weeks to go before the five-match Test series between England and India, the news of Rishabh Pant and a member of the Indian support staff testing positive for COVID-19 is the scariest cricket fans can imagine. Unfortunately, their worst fear has come true. However, the series is still on as other members of the Indian contingent have yielded negative results. The Delta variant of the COVID-19 is fast spreading in the UK and the players need to be very careful.
Pant, who is currently in isolation, attended the Euro 2020 fixture between England and Germany at Wembley and is speculated to have picked up the virus during his stay at the stadium. Pant was seen without a mask or any protective gear. The southpaw for criticized by some fans and experts for not following COVID-19 protocols. However, the wicketkeeper-batsman has found support of the BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, who said it is impossible to wear a mask all the time, adding that the UK government has uplifted the restrictions and the players are not in a bubble thus it was fair on behalf of Pant to not wear a mask.
“We have seen Euro Championship and Wimbledon in England. Rules have changed (with the crowd being allowed inside venues). They were on leave and it’s physically impossible to wear a mask all the time,” Ganguly told News18.
Ganguly was further asked if he was concerned for the safety of other players. Responding to the query, Ganguly said, “ “No worries. They will be fine.”
The England-India Test series gets underway on August 4 at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. Ahead of the opening clash, the Indian team will play a warm-up game against select county XI in Durham starting July 20.