Mumbai: The cloud over the IPL game between Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings was lifted an hour before the game on Wednesday after the BCCI confirmed that the match will go on despite a sixth COVID positive case being reported in the Delhi camp on the game-day.
New Zealand cricketer Tim Seifert testing positive on the morning of the game raised serious doubts over the fixture but the rest of the Delhi squad members returning two negative tests put the match back on track.
“The entire Delhi Capitals contingent underwent 2 rounds of COVID testing today. Match No. 32 involving Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings scheduled today at Brabourne CCI will go ahead as per the schedule after the second round of COVID tests returned negative today,” said the BCCI in a statement.
High drama unfolded in the lead up to the game with Seifert becoming the sixth member from Delhi contingent to test positive.
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Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh had tested positive on Monday.
Punjab had reached the Brabourne Stadium on schedule but Delhi just about about managed to reach in nick of time.
With Delhi players having to deal with stress and suspense caused by the COVID outbreak, it would be tough for them to just turn up and perform to their potential.
“It is tough as we have got very little time to train after the last game,” said a player on the condition of anonymity.
As per the IPL regulations, a minimum of 12 players including seven Indians are needed for the game to go ahead in case of a COVID outbreak.
There is also an option to reschedule the game if the minimum player requirement is not met.
The BCCI was on Tuesday forced to shift the game to Mumbai from Pune “to avoid any further incident due to any undetected case during a long-distance bus journey in a closed environment”.
Delhi’s next game on April 22 has also been moved to Mumbai from Pune.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday announced a change of venue for Match No. 34 Delhi Capital versus Rajasthan Royals from MCA Stadium, Pune to Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai scheduled on April 22, 2022.
“The decision on the change of venue was made as a precautionary measure after Delhi Capitals registered the 6th COVID case with New Zealand wicketkeeper Mr Tim Seifert returning positive in today’s RT-PCR testing,” BCCI added.
Delhi physio Patrick Farhart and sports massage therapist Chetan Kumar had tested positive last week while Marsh, who is hospitalised, team doctor Abhijit Salvi and social media content team member Akash Mane returned positive tests on Monday.
Seifert had also contracted the virus last season when he was with the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Multiple cases across four teams had forced the organisers to suspended the IPL last season before it was completed in the UAE in September-October.