Indian cricketers start quarantine in Mumbai ahead of UK tour

Members of the Indian men’s and women’s teams reached Mumbai on Wednesday and went into a mandatory quarantine ahead of their trip to the United Kingdom.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) deployed three charter flights – from Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai – for the cricketers. Those who are not in these three metro cities were supposed to take a private car and reach the destinations for their respective flights.

While the players who live in Mumbai and Pune can enter the bubble by May 24, the Board flew in some players and support staff from Chennai and Hyderabad – including Mithali Raj, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Mayank Agarwal, Washington Sundar, R. Sridhar, Bharat Arun – to Mumbai by a chartered flight on Wednesday.

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Jhulan Goswami, Indrani Roy took commercial flights from Kolkata. However, all the players had to carry negative RT-PCR test reports.

“The players and staff who live in and around Mumbai have been allowed to report by May 24. However, some players like Jemimah Rodrigues – who live in Mumbai – have already checked in,” a Board official told Sportstar.

Before leaving for England, every member needs to carry six RT-PCR negative results and the Board has hired an agency, which is looking after the tests for both the men and women. In the cities where the agency doesn’t have a branch, the players were asked to get the RT-PCR done and claim reimbursement. “That’s the protocol. The safety of our players is paramount and we have ensured that things go smoothly,” the Board official said.

KL Rahul, who is recovering in Mumbai after an appendicitis surgery, is expected to join the bubble on May 24, along with Wriddhiman Saha and Prasidh Krishna.

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Both Prasidh and Saha contracted the virus during the IPL and were in isolation. Even though they have recovered now, the Board is believed to have kept Andhra stumper K.S. Bharat as a back-up in case Saha is not fully fit.

The Indian team is set to leave for the UK on June 2 and as per the schedule, after reaching London, the men’s team is set to straightaway travel to Southampton, where it will be under quarantine.

Even though the BCCI is hoping to train during its soft quarantine, negotiations regarding the duration of quarantine are still on. “The discussions are on with the relevant authorities and we will have clarity soon. We are hoping that the team gets a chance to train during the soft quarantine. But a lot would depend on the local authorities,” the Board official said, adding that they are also waiting for the ICC’s Playing Conditions for the World Test Championship final  which will be played between June 18 and 22.

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