BCCI sends five players to bolster India’s U-19 squad hit by COVID – Guyana newsroom
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is sending five players to the Under-19 World Cup in the West Indies as reinforcements following an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian camp, along with five players from the squad. origin in the Caribbean tested positive for the virus this week.
The five players sent as reinforcements are Uday Saharan, Abishek Porel, Rishith Reddy, Ansh Gosai and Pushpendra Singh Rathore.
On Wednesday, six Indian players were unavailable for selection for the game against Ireland. The group included Captain Yash Dhull and Vice-Captain Shaik Rasheed. They, along with Aaradhya Yadav, Manav Parakh and Siddarth Yadav were also left out of India’s final group stage game, against Uganda, scheduled for Saturday.
While Sahara, Reddy, Gosai and Rathore were all part of the traveling reserves announced by BCCI ahead of the World Cup, they did not travel to the Caribbean with the main squad. Porel, who was initially not part of the reserves, made the cut in place of Amrit Raj Upadhyay.
Left-arm spinner Upadhyay was initially chosen from the reserves but was capped by Porel, and the reason, ESPNcricinfo understands, is that he is a wicket-keeper. Aaradhya, the main team’s second keeper, is currently isolated, leaving the team with only Dinesh Bana to wear the big gloves.
Saharien is a batter from Rajasthan, who hit 102 in the three-set competition between two Indian Under-19 teams and Bangladesh Under-19 late last year. Reddy is a right arm tailor from Hyderabad who went 5-53 against Bangladesh Under-19s in the same tournament. Saurashtra’s Gosai is a right-handed hitter known for his innovative shot, and Rajasthan’s Rathore is a versatile hitter.
Once the five reservists reach the Caribbean, they will have to serve a period of mandatory quarantine before joining the team. They are currently not part of the main team; the Tournament Event Technical Committee will need to approve them before they can participate in the competition.
It is possible that the committee will only allow them as temporary COVID-19 replacements, which comes with the caveat that they must leave the team once the affected players return after their recovery. If the BCCI wishes, these players may request to be permanent additions to the squad, but this is usually done to replace injured players.
Although the five COVID-infected players are currently in isolation, they are expected to be available for India’s quarter-final game, which is likely to be played on January 29. However, if their recovery takes longer or if more players return positive tests or suffer injuries, the team’s management can dip into their short-term reserves.
India, who became the first team in the competition to advance to the quarter-finals, have their knockout match scheduled in another country, Antigua and Barbuda. This means that players who are currently in Trinidad and Tobago will have to return negative tests before they can fly. (ESPNcricinfo)