File photo of Pooja Vastrakar.© Instagram
Batter S Meghana and all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar have tested positive for COVID-19 and stayed back in the country ahead of the side’s opener against Australia in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Friday. The India squad left on Sunday morning for Birmingham without the two players. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had earlier confirmed that one member of the touring party tested positive. The squad trained at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) ahead of the Games. Women’s cricket is making its debut at the Commonwealth Games.
“Vastrakar and Meghana have tested positive for COVID-19 and it happened before departure. Both the players will remain in India,” an Indian Olympic Association official told PTI.
A BCCI source added: “As per protocol, both players can only join the team once they test negative.” Considering the situation, the two players are unlikely to feature in the opener against Australia. The second game is against arch-rivals Pakistan on July 31 and final league match against Barbados on August 3.
All games, including the final, will be played at the Edgbaston.
The organisers have said that tickets for the semifinals and final are already sold out.
The team will be having its first training session later on Tuesday.
Ahead of the team’s departure, India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur had spoken about how much playing in the Commonwealth Games meant to her and the team.
“We don’t get to experience this often so really looking forward to it. The opening ceremony will be a special experience for all of us,” she had said.
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