Ahead of Day 4 of the Oval Test, news of Ravi Shastri, R Sridhar, and Bharat Arun testing positive for COVID-19 rattled the Indian camp. The coaching staff participated in a book launch event in London last week and might have contracted the virus from there. The development meant that all the positive members and Nitin Patel, who was identified as close contact, were forced into isolation. Several Indian cricketers also participated in the book launch event but their reports came negative which allowed the players to finish the game.
Meanwhile, it is reported the Indian team did not seek any prior permission from the BCCI to attend the event and the board is not happy with this leniency. The board is likely to seek an explanation from Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli for attending the event without BCCI’s approval.
“Photos from the event have been shared with BCCI officials. The board will probe the matter. This incident has left the board embarrassed. The coach and the captain will be asked to explain the circumstances after the fourth Test at Oval. The team’s administrative manager Girish Dongre’s role is also under the scanner,” a top BCCI official told The Times of India.
The board members are set to meet on Wednesday, 8th September, to finalise the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup and the issue is likely to be raised in the meeting.
“There is a selection meeting for the T20 World Cup on Wednesday. Maybe the matter will be raised there,” the official added.
Earlier, BCCI secretary Jay Shah had advised the team to stay away from crowded places during the pandemic but the team still decided to attend the event which has left the board fuming.
“This incident is all the more unsettling because BCCI secretary Jay Shah had written to every team member before the series, asking them to be cautious and refrain from attending crowded events. The action of the team hasn’t gone down well with the board,” the official said.