Aussie cricket superstar Pat Cummins is plunged into isolation after two of his IPL team mates tested positive to Covid-19
Australian cricket star Pat Cummins is in isolation after two of his teammates tested positive to Covid-19 in virus-addled India.
Indian bowling duo Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier, from Cummins’ Indian Premier League team, the Kolkata Knight Riders, have reportedly contracted the respiratory disease.
The 27-year-old is now is isolation, along with his Australian teammate Ben Cuttings and the rest of the team.
India reported a devastating 3,689 deaths on Sunday and 392,488 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 19.56 million.
So far, the virus has killed 215,542 people in the country although experts believe the actual numbers of both cases and deaths are likely to be considerably higher.
It’s understood that Cummins, whose IPL contract is worth approximately $3.1 million, is currently healthy and not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
An official IPL statement said: ‘All other team members have tested negative for Covid-19.’
‘Both the players have isolated themselves from the rest of the squad. The Medical Team is in continuous touch with the duo and are monitoring their health.’
Kolkata Knight Riders were slated to face Royal Challenges Bangalore in Ahmedabad on Monday night, but that game will not take place as scheduled.
But the superstar paceman now faces daily tests and a nervous wait as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seeks to control the outbreak.
The bubble breach will set off fresh alarms for BCCI bigwigs plus officials at Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA).
This IPL season, scheduled to run until May 31, is being played in front of empty stands and amid a backdrop of India’s deadly second wave of COVID-19.
There is no suggestion the Twenty20 tournament will be suspended, as was the case with the Pakistan Super League earlier this year after several players contracted COVID-19.
But if the situation deteriorates and that does transpire then Cummins and others in a group of almost 40 Australian players, coaches and officials will be stuck in no man’s land.
Australia’s federal government is yet to indicate whether a recently-introduced ban on all incoming travellers from India could be extended, but it will run until at least May 15.
Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson last week fled the IPL and returned home, via Qatar, but any Australian attempting that journey now risks jail time and fines.
Some optimistic Australian players remain hopeful that commercial flights will be allowed to resume by the end of the month, while others are bracing for contingency plans that involve a two-week stopover in another nation.
Cummins, who last week donated $50,000 to help India combat its health crisis, is playing a central role in logistical discussions between stressed Australian cricketers, CA and the ACA.
A potential charter flight, which would need to be approved by federal government, has formed part of those talks.
However, CA chief executive Nick Hockley insisted on Monday ‘there’s no suggestion at the moment of any charter flight’.
‘For the moment it’s monitor the situation and as we get closer to the end of the tournament, we’ll need to see where the situation is at,’ Hockley told SEN.
Complicating matters is Australia’s limited-overs tour of the West Indies in June, with Cummins and other stars facing a tight turnaround if their homecoming is delayed.