The Commonwealth Games are now only a couple of days away and women’s cricket is all set to mark its debut at the Games on the 29th of July with a never-disappointing faceoff between Australia and India. The Indian camp hasn’t had a start they would have wished with a double blow that’s come their way in a couple of players testing positive for Covid-19.
The president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Mr Sourav Ganguly after the conclusion of the Apex Council meeting on 21st July informed that ‘a member’ of the touring party is down with Covid. An Indian Olympic official on 27th July shared a bit more stating ‘a player more’ is down with Covid. The BCCI is yet to publish a media release on the same stating names of the players, but an Indian Olympic official has put out the names of the players in his conversation with the Press Trust of India (PTI).
“(Pooja) Vastrakar and (Sabbhineni) Meghana have tested positive for COVID 19 and it happened before departure. Both the players will remain in India,” said the official to PTI as reported in the Times of India (TOI).
It also is learned that once the two players return a negative Covid test they’ll fly to Birmingham and regroup with the Indian contingent.
It’s very unlikely that the couple of players who’ve tested positive for the virus will make it on time to Birmingham for the opening game, while their appearance in the second game against Pakistan can be expected. Sabbhineni Meghana isn’t in India’s first choice XI so that alone isn’t that big a blow and with Richa Ghosh, on standby, it shouldn’t disturb a lot of India’s planning. With Pooja Vastrakar who walks into any XI including the Indian XI is a serious blow for India to have. The pace all-rounder, who bowls economical spells, bags big wickets and takes on the attack with the bat in hand is a seriously big miss for India and is one that surely has them worried as the playing XI will now need a shuffle.
After a camp at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), Bangalore the players made their trip to Birmingham and on 26th July had their first training camp on the Games soil. With all games set to be played at Edgbaston, India will play their opener against Australia on 29th July which is a building cricket rivalry. They then play in one of cricket’s most watched and awaited games against Pakistan on the 31st of July and then play Barbados on the 2nd of August in their final league stage game.