India coach Shastri tests positive for COVID-19

NOTTINGHAM: In this file photo taken on August 4, 2021 India’s head coach Ravi Shastri looks on ahead of play on the first day of the first cricket Test match of the India Tour of England 2021 between England and India at the Trent Bridge cricket ground in Nottingham. – AFP

LONDON: India head coach Ravi Shastri has been forced to remain in the team hotel after testing positive for COVID-19 during the ongoing fourth Test against England at the Oval, a Board of Control for Cricket in India statement said yesterday. The BCCI said Shastri, bowling coach B Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and physiotherapist Nitin Patel were all isolating as a “precautionary measure” following 59-year-old former India all-rounder Shastri’s positive lateral flow test late on Saturday.

They have all undergone PCR testing, with the BCCI statement saying they will “remain in the team hotel and not travel with Team India until confirmation from the medical team”. A spokesman added later yesterday that Arun, Sridhar and Patel had all since tested negative. Officials insisted it was safe for the match to continue as the remaining members of the Indian contingent had undergone two lateral flow tests, one on Saturday and another yesterday morning, all of which produced “negative COVID reports”, and were allowed to go to the Oval for the fourth day.

But Shastri, Arun, Sridhar and Patel were not at the south London ground, as India resumed on 270-3 in their second innings, a lead of 171 runs, in a five-match series all square at 1-1. The fifth Test at Old Trafford, Manchester, is scheduled to start on Friday, September 10. The two teams have been in separate environments, with the only interactions taking place on the field during play.

Rahul fined for dissent
Meanwhile, India batsman KL Rahul has been fined 15 percent of his match fee after showing dissent following his dismissal on Saturday. The opener was unhappy at being given out caught behind on review for 46 off the bowling of England great James Anderson.

After Alex Wharf reversed his decision, Rahul gestured to the on-field umpire that he had hit his pad with the bat, although the Decision Review System confirmed he had edged the ball before making any further contact. Rahul was found to have breached article 2.8 of the International Cricket Council code of conduct, which relates to “showing dissent at an umpire’s decision during an international match”.

The 29-year-old Rahul has also had one demerit point added to his disciplinary record for a first offence in a 24-month period. Rahul admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by ICC match referee Chris Broad, the former England batsman, which meant there was no need for a formal hearing. – AFP


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