Chennai: Indian cricketers cleared Thursday their first round of RT-PCR COVID-19 tests a source in the BCCI said Friday. The Indian cricketers will undergo two more rounds of tests before they start training from February 2. They are scheduled to take part in a four-Test series. The first of the two Tests to be played here begins February 5. The England cricketers have also arrived here and are also undergoing quarantine. They arrived from Sri Lanka after a victorious 2-0 series win.
The entire Indian contingent has already arrived in the city and both the teams are staying at the Leela Palace hotel. “The SOP is same as the IPL, bio-bubble during the hard quarantine period. We have had one RT-PCR test done already. We would be doing two more before the cricketers are cleared to train. Right now, the players will have to be confined to their rooms,” a senior BCCI official told this agency on the condition of anonymity.
The players will have to make do with some physical exercise in their rooms only. They will be doing so under the supervision of the two strength and conditioning experts, Nick Webb and Soham Desai.
In a welcome move, the BCCI has allowed the players to be accompanied by their families. BCCI officials feel it ‘could be extremely lonely’ during the hard quarantine phase.
Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, senior opener Rohit Sharma, wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha, all-rounder Hardik Pandya have all been joined by their respective families. They have put out posts from their official social media handles. In fact Pandya posted on Instagram a picture of his son Agastya with him. It was his son’s first flight. Both father and son looked very happy together.
“The players have all come back after a gruelling Australian tour. Hard quarantine can be extremely difficult. It would only help their well being that wives and children are around which would help them remain in a good head space,” the source said.