IPL 2021: CSK refuse to play against RR after staff members turn COVID positive; match to be rescheduled

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Chennai Super Kings. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

After three staff members of the Chennai Super Kings tested positive for the Covid-19, the franchise has opted not to play their next encounter against the Rajasthan Royals scheduled on 5th May 2021 (Wednesday) at Delhi.

It is learned that CSK communicated to the BCCI that they would be able to step back only when all the players who came in contact with the Covid positive staff-members clear three tests over six days as per Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) of the IPL.

“Tomorrow’s match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium between CSK and RR will be rescheduled as per SOP rules. As Balaji was in contact with the players, all of them have gone into hard quarantine. They are supposed to be tested everyday,” a senior BCCI official reportedly told on conditions of anonymity.

Notably, CSK next plays Sunrisers Hyderabad at the same venue on May 7, which also falls within the six-day test window. As per the BCCI-issued SOPs for the 2021 edition, any person who came in contact with an infected person mandatorily needs to undergo RT-PCR tests on days one, three, and six apart from practicing quarantine.

CSK opting out of the next game has severely burdened the BCCI, who are already facing a rescheduling nightmare with considerations going on over even shifting the entire tournament to Mumbai, the venue of the first leg, which has three stadiums.

The scheduled game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore was postponed yesterday after two players from the former franchise tested positive. The BCCI is yet to communicate the rescheduled date.

We can’t play our next game: CSK official 

Concerned about the situation, a CSK official told the Indian Express: “The coach is asymptomatic. However, as per the BCCI’s Covid protocols, everybody who has come in contact with him will have to undergo a six-day quarantine. We can’t play our next game (against Rajasthan Royals). The BCCI knows about the testing protocols and how many tests need to become negative before an all-clear is given. We have communicated it to the BCCI. They will have to reschedule the game between CSK and Rajasthan Royals.”

“Most of our foreign players now don’t want to continue. They don’t feel safe anymore. We have assured them we will take care of them and if required will also take care of their travel out of India. Without the availability of these players, how we can continue?”, added the franchise official.

Meanwhile, speaking about the postponement or cancellation of the league, a top BCCI official said: “It will be tough to postpone or change the venues now. We are speaking to medical teams on how to strengthen our bio-bubble. Teams will have to undergo RT-PCR tests daily. We are trying to find solutions keeping in mind the safety of players.”


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