Indian spinner and star performer Rajeshwari Gayakwad has been rested for the India tour of England and has been excluded from the squad due to a knee injury that she carried while playing against South Africa in March. It is also believed that Gayakwad has been recovering from COVID-19 in Bangalore.
As per a report by ESPNcricinfo, it is understood that Gayakwad left the Senior Women’s One Day Tournament after playing just 2 matches for Railways as she was infected with the virus. The tournament was held right after the South Africa series, where Gayakwad was one of the top performers.
There was no official announcement made neither by the Railways team about her injury nor by the BCCI on her exclusion from the England Tour. If she hadn’t been infected by the virus, she would have been a part of the squad without any doubt.
Recently, she was nominated for the ICC Women’s Player of the Match Award for the month of March for her outstanding performance against the Proteas Women. Gayakwad was the leading wicket-taker in both ODI as well as the T20I series as she picked up 8 wickets in the 5-match ODI series at an economy rate of 3.56 and 4 wickets in the 3-match T20I series at an economy rate of 4.75, taking her tally to 12 wickets in the tournament.
Most wickets in the 5 Match ODI Seris #INDvSA
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) March 17, 2021
The second wave of the deadly coronavirus has proved to be very dangerous. Few male and female players from India tested positive even after being in the strict bio-bubble and following all the safety and precautionary norms. India T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur recently recovered from COVID-19, and all-rounder Veda Krishnamurthy lost her mother and sister to the virus.
But the players will continue to follow a strict set of rules so as to fly to England. The Indian Women’s Team will be led by the newly appointed coach Ramesh Powar whose selection was announced yesterday by the BCCI Cricket Advisory Committee.
What do you make of the latest squad announced for the England tour?
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) May 15, 2021
The women in blue will be playing a one-off test, a three-match ODI, and a three-match T20I against England starting June 16th. Five players from the contingent- Shafali Verma, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, and Deepti Sharma will be staying back after the tour ends as they’re set to participate in the inaugural season of The Hundred.