Mumbai cricket team were dealt with a massive blow as four cricketers tested COVID-19 positive a couple of hours before they took off to take part in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament (SMAT).
Sarfaraz Khan, Prashant Solanki, Shams Mulani and Sairaj Patil were found to be Covid positive at the Mumbai airport. As a result, they were sent back home and were asked to self-isolate themselves for seven days. The incident has caused outrage in the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and questions have been raised over the bio-security standards where the players have been practising.
Ajinkya Rahane & Co, who were scheduled to leave for Guwahati on Wednesday, held a training session at the Wankhede on Tuesday. The team members underwent a test one day prior to their departure but tested positive on reaching the airport.
Replacements will be announced soon: Official
“This is the reality of the times. We cannot avoid Covid even after taking best possible measures. The mandatory RT-PCR test was done a day before and the players were told not to go to the airport if any one of them is positive. But they still went. On seeing the positive report, they were sent back from the airport, a MCA official said.
MCA will soon announce the replacements of the four cricketers, confirmed the official. “The selectors have been informed and they will pick the replacements,” he added.
Mumbai are placed in the Elite B Group with Karnataka, Bengal, Baroda, Chhattisgarh and Services. The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy will commence in November and the first phase will take place in Lucknow, Baroda, Delhi, Vijayawada and Haryana and Guwahati.