Sourav Ganguly, head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has supported Team India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant after the youngster tested positive for COVID-19 in England. Pant is currently in isolation and would need to pass a drug test before rejoining the Indian team.
Pant was heavily criticized on social media for not wearing a mask while attending a EURO 2020 football match during India’s three-week respite from the bio-bubble. However, Ganguly believes that blaming Pant would be unjust. In an interview with News 18, Ganguly defended the young cricketer, saying:
“In England, we saw the Euro Championship and Wimbledon. The rules have changed (with crowd being allowed inside venues). They were on leave, and wearing a mask all the time is physically impossible.”
Good experience watching ⚽️. 🏴 vs 🇩🇪 pic.twitter.com/LvOYex5svE— Rishabh Pant (@RishabhPant17) June 30, 2021
Ganguly stated that he is not concerned about what is going on in the Indian camp. He told me that everything is great and that everything is being taken care of properly.
Dayanand Garani, a throwdown expert, also tested positive for COVID-19 after Pant. After being discovered as intimate contacts, wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha and bowling coach Bharat Arun were placed in isolation.
According to Rajeev Shukla, vice president of the BCCI, in an interview with ANI:
“There is no issue with Team India. Secretary Jay Shah has written a letter to team management stating that everyone must follow the COVID protocols, that strict measures, whatever they may be, must be implemented in accordance with the recommendations, that all safety precautions must be taken, and that the team must be extremely cautious during the England tour.”
A single match cannot determine whether India is good or bad: Sourav Ganguly’s formal name is Sourav Ganguly.
A round of applause to #TeamIndia for their incredible journey to the #WTC21 Final. 👏 👏— BCCI (@BCCI) June 23, 2021
Congratulations to New Zealand for winning the World Test Championship. 👍👍
Scorecard 👉 https://t.co/CmrtWscFua pic.twitter.com/iveB9RTUDa
India will be under pressure heading into the five-match Test series against England after losing the World Test Championship (WTC) final to New Zealand. However, Ganguly expressed optimism that India will play decent cricket against the hosts in the upcoming series. He stated, “
“It is impossible to foretell. They (India) will play excellent cricket. A single match cannot determine if they are good or awful. Because it is a long series, both teams will have opportunities to equalize.”
Before the Test series begins on August 4, India will play a three-day practice match against the County Championship XI in Durham, beginning July 20.
🚨 NEWS: #TeamIndia off to Durham; Two members test positive— BCCI (@BCCI) July 15, 2021
Wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, who tested positive for COVID-19 on 8th July, nears completion of his self-quarantine period while training assistant/net bowler Dayanand Garani has tested positive.