Delhi Capitals (DC)’s camp has been hit by as many as six COVID-19 cases amid the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 edition. After Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh and four other members of the DC support staff tested positive for the virus earlier this week, another player returned positive in the latest round of tests conducted on Wednesday (April 20).
As per a report in PTI, New Zealand wicket-keeper batter Tim Seifert is the latest member of the DC squad to test positive for the virus. However, despite six COVID-19 cases being detected in the DC camp, their game against Punjab Kings (PBKS) is currently underway as per schedule at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
The match was earlier shifted from MCA Stadium in Pune to Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai following the emergence of five COVID-19 cases in the DC camp. The six positive members have been placed in quarantine and will be allowed to join the squad once they have recovered fully. DC, meanwhile, can continue to focus on getting their campaign back on track after a shaky start to the season.
While DC have not yet faced a full-fledged outbreak of COVID-19 among their squad with only two players affected at the moment, what do the BCCI rules state if a team is adversely affected by the virus? Can a particular team’s match be rescheduled in case of a COVID-19 outbreak in their squad?
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As per BCCI’s guidelines, a team can continue to take part in a fixture if they have at least 12 fit players available to take the field. Seven out of these 12 players should be Indian as a maximum of only 4 overseas players can be part of the playing XI. In case the franchise is not able to field 12 players, the IPL Technical Committee reserves the right to reschedule the game.
“Unable to field a team on account of Covid for any match due to having less than 12 players available in the playing XI (of which at least seven must be Indian) plus one substitute fielder. The BCCI, at its discretion, will attempt to reschedule the match for later in the season. If this is not possible, the issue will be referred to the IPL Technical Committee. The decision of the Technical Committee will be final and binding,” the BCCI’s rule state.
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IPL 2021 had to be suspended midway last year due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the camps of several teams. The tournament was later moved to UAE from India and completed there. This year, the BCCI is conducting the entire league stage of IPL 2022 across four venues in Maharashtra to ensure minimal COVID-19 risk.
Playing only in one state means teams are avoiding air travel and are travelling by road for their matches. However, despite the precautions and the strict bio-bubbles, COVID-19 has managed to once again rock the ongoing season and continues to pose a threat to the tournament.
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