CSK’s IPL journey got off to the worst possible start on Friday after it was learnt that some members of their contingent had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The immediate fallout was that all the team members and support staff had to go into quarantine, thereby hampering their preparations and training schedule for the marquee event. A finalist last year, the Chennai Super Kings were to begin training on Friday.
While the team management held off on the names of the members who had failed the COVID test, a Times of India report quoted a source as saying that India speedster Deepak Chahar, who is an integral part of CSK’s bowling attack, was one of them.
The report further said that the members contracted the virus upon landing in Dubai, their base. All franchises were mandated to take the COVID test before flying to the Emirates. The same was part of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that have been put in place to make the tournament safe for the players and personnel. The franchises were also required to travel with their own medical advisors or doctors.
The CSK contingent, which touched down in Dubai on August 21 and had completed the mandatory six days of quarantine as per the tournament’s rules this year, have to now extend their isolation by another week.
The showpiece domestic T20 event, which was shifted to the UAE after assessing the rapidly unravelling COVID situation back home, is scheduled to kick off on September 19.
The TOI report also said, quoting sources, that the entire CSK squad, including players and support staff, had to take their fourth COVID test in the wake of the positive reports. The results of the fourth test will be made known on Saturday.
As per the tournament rules being enforced in the interest of player safety, members of all franchises were to take three Covid tests, within days of each other, after arriving in the Emirates.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the marquees or overseas players were considering a pullout in the wake of the health scare in CSK camp.