The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to shift Wednesday’s Indian Premier League fixture between Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings to Mumbai, in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak in the Delhi camp.
According to the original schedule, the match was scheduled to be held at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, but keeping the current scenario in mind, the BCCI wants to avoid travel.
The BCCI issued a statement on Tuesday, announcing the change of venue from MCA Stadium, Pune to Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai to avoid any further incident due to any undetected case during a long-distance bus journey in a closed environment.
On Monday, Delhi Capitals’ overseas player Mitchell Marsh was admitted to the hospital after his second RT-PCR test returned positive. A few other members of the franchise – including physio Patrick Farhart, masseur and the team doctor – are also in isolation after testing positive for the virus.
Capitals’ original plan of travelling to Pune was also cancelled and the entire unit was in isolation and regular testing was done.
According to the statement, the COVID positive cases are under isolation and medical observation. They will be tested on Day 6 and 7 and subject to both the tests being negative they will be re-integrated into the Delhi Capitals bio-secured bubble.
While there were speculations that the teams might travel to Pune on Tuesday, the BCCI and franchises decided to avoid any travel. “We don’t want to take any risk. The safety of the players is paramount and we will take all the measures to ensure that everything goes on smoothly,” a source said.
Delhi is scheduled to play its next few matches in Pune, but in the current situation, chances are high that the team may end up playing the games in Mumbai. However, that will depend on how things pan out over the next couple of days.
The Delhi Capitals contingent underwent a fresh round of testing on Tuesday morning and are awaiting results. It is understood that the team will again take an RT-PCR test on Wednesday morning and if all reports are negative, then only will the game go ahead. And in case, there are further cases, the Board is ‘open to postpone’ the game to a later date.