"BCCI will not arrange another charter flight"
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has said that any players who test positive for Covid-19 should consider themselves out of the WTC final.
The Indian cricket team, led by Virat Kohli, is due to leave for the UK on June 2, 2021, to play the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC).
A five-match Test series against England is due to follow.
However, with India’s second wave of Covid-19 still going strong, the BCCI is not willing to risk the health of the players.
The Indian cricket team have been advised to isolate until they reach Mumbai for their pre-flight Covid test.
If a player tests positive before their departure to the UK, they will not be boarding the flight.
Speaking to Indian Express about the BCCI’s new safety measures, a source said:
“The players have been informed to consider their tour over if they are found positive on their arrival in Mumbai as BCCI will not arrange another charter flight for any cricketer.”
The Indian team will arrive in Mumbai on May 25, 2021, and be part of an eight-day bubble.
Also, according to reports, the family members of the players will also receive a Covid-19 test as a precautionary measure.
A BCCI source said:
“The players, support staff and families will be tested and two negative reports are required before they leave for Mumbai.
“It will be done in order to ensure that they are coming into the bubble without any infection.
“The players have also been given the option to travel by air or car to reach Mumbai.”
“For vaccination, BCCI has informed the players to take Covishield which they can get in England, and not Covaxin.”
Covishield is the Indian name for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Covaxin is an Indian-developed vaccine by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research.
The Indian squad will be in the UK by the time they become eligible for their second Covid-19 vaccine doses.
Therefore, the BCCI has advised them to get the Covishield vaccine, to ensure it will be available in England.
Several players, including captain Virat Kohli and Vice Captain Ajinkya Rahane, have had their first Covid-19 vaccine doses.
A positive test result for any of the Indian squad could have a negative impact on their preparation for the tour.
The BCCI released a tweet on May 7, 2021, announcing the team, which includes the likes of Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin.
The WTC final will begin at Southampton on June 18, 2021, where India will take on New Zealand.
India will then face England in a five-match Test series beginning on August 14, 2021.