Delhi Capitals (DC) have suffered a major blow leading into the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting April 9, as their premier all-rounder Axar Patel has tested positive for COVID-19.
“Axar had checked into the team hotel in Mumbai on March 28, 2021, with a negative report,” said the Delhi franchise in a media statement. “His report from the second COVID test, came positive. He is currently in isolation at a designated medical care facility. The Delhi Capitals medical team is in constant touch with Axar and ensuring his safety and well-being. We wish him a speedy recovery.”
Axar is the second IPL player after Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batsman Nitish Rana to give a positive test leading into the league’s forthcoming season. Rana, however, returned negative in a test on Thursday (April 1), having gone into self-isolation post a positive test outcome on March 22.
According to BCCI’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) designed for the safe conduct of IPL 2021 amid coronavirus pandemic, a player who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate in the designated area outside the bio-secure environment for a minimum of 10 days from the first day of symptoms or the date of collection of the sample which resulted in a positive RT-PCR report, whichever is earlier.
“During the 10-day isolation, the individual must rest and avoid any exercises. The team doctor should regularly monitor the case. If symptoms worsen during the course of isolation, the individual must be hospitalised immediately,” the SOP states.
Having tested positive, Axar will now have to go through a 10-day strict isolation. He will, therefore, be missing Delhi Capitals’ (DC) opening encounter in the tournament on April 10 in Mumbai versus the Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Delhi Capitals (DC) all-rounder Axar Patel tests positive for COVID-19 before IPL 2021
Axar was instrumental to Delhi Capitals’ (DC) run till the final of the previous edition of the IPL in UAE last year. The accurate left-arm spinner and attacking left-hand batsman was an able contributor in either department. Axar took 9 wickets while bowling at an economy rate of 6.41 and scored 117 runs at a strike-rate of 137.64.
Meanwhile, things aren’t looking as bright in Mumbai when it comes to the IPL, with groundstaff at the Wankhede Stadium testing positive for coronavirus. The latest wave of the pandemic has seen a rise in corona positive cases in Maharashtra, which has become a cause of concern for IPL teams and the BCCI before the IPL 2021 begins.
The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai is scheduled to host 10 IPL games this season from April 10-25, with the first of those being DC’s opening encounter versus CSK.
Besides Delhi Capitals (DC), Mumbai Indians (MI), Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) have also set up their base in Mumbai. The state of Maharashtra witnessed 47,827 new COVID-19 cases and 202 deaths on Friday (April 2) with Mumbai alone recording the highest-ever single day spike of 8,832 new cases, as stated in an ANI report.
The last year’s edition of the IPL had to be postponed due to the pandemic from its traditional April-May window to a new one in September-November.