Aakash Chopra on Krunal Pandya testing COVID-positive in Sri Lanka

Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra has expressed concerns over the India-England series being played in a soft bubble after Krunal Pandya tested COVID-positive in Sri Lanka despite being in a strict bubble.

The second T20I of the India-Sri Lanka series had to be postponed by a day after Team India all-rounder Krunal Pandya tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. The match was subsequently rescheduled for Wednesday, July 28.

Reacting to the development on his official YouTube channel, Chopra pointed out that even as COVID cases in the UK are still being registered, crowds are being allowed to attend The Hundred. He stated:

“Krunal Pandya tested positive despite being in a strict bio-bubble. That makes me think what is happening in England. Crowds are attending The Hundred and interacting with each other. Even amid COVID positive cases in the country, the festival is carrying on. Crowds are likely to attend the India-England Test matches as well and it is being said that there won’t be a strict bio-bubble but only a soft one. I do understand that COVID has taken a toll on everyone. But if COVID can breach a strict bio-bubble, I don’t even want to think what can happen in a soft bubble.”

Chopra also questioned how the strict bio-bubble in Sri Lanka was breached. The puzzled former cricketer wondered:

“How was the bio-secure bubble breached? Matches are being played behind closed doors. No players are going out, it is a very tight tournament. Players are staying at the designated hotel. They are using the same bus to travel to the ground and they are staying in the same dressing how. Then how did this virus breach the bio-bubble? And if it has, Krunal might not be alone, as we have seen in the IPL, when multiple cases later came to the fore.”

Eight players identified as close contacts of Krunal Pandya return negative tests

In the latest development, eight players who were identified as close contacts of Krunal Pandya and put in isolation, have returned COVID negative tests. The BCCI had earlier revealed that the players were identified as close contacts of COVID-positive Krunal Pandya underwent RT-PCR tests.

Releasing a statement on Krunal Pandya, the BCCI confirmed:

“The second T20I between Sri Lanka and India originally scheduled to be played on July 27 has been pushed forward by a day and will now take place on Wednesday, July 28. Following the Rapid Antigen Tests conducted ahead of the match on Tuesday morning, Team India all-rounder Krunal Pandya was found to be positive. The Medical Teams have identified eight members as close contacts.”

Krunal Pandya will have to remain in self-isolation for 7 days and will stay back in Sri Lanka even after the T20I series ends on July 29. The other members of the Indian contingent are scheduled to return home on July 30.

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