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Pant tests positive for Covid-19, lax BCCI under scrutiny

London: Indian cricket board’s decision to allow players to visit sporting venues as well as other public places in England and mingle with crowd during their three-week break has come under spotlight after it emerged that wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has tested positive for Covid-19.

Pant had visited the Euro 2020 pre-quarter final between England and Germany on June 29 and had later tweeted pictures of himself with a few of his friends sitting in the crowd.

“Good experience watching [emoticon: football] [emoticons: flags of England and Germany],” Pant had tweeted with pictures from the Wembley Stadium where the match was played.

Hanuma Vihari and Jasprit Bumrah are the other players to have visited the Wembley to watch Euro 2020 football. Team coach Ravi Shastri and premier off-spinner R Ashwin, who played a County Championship match for Surrey this week, had visited Wimbledon in the break.

Although the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to comment on the matter, reports have said that Pant tested about a week back and will be tested again on July 18.

Pant will not be joining the team in the camp in Durham that begins on Thursday.

The Indian cricket squad, which had reached England in early June and then played the World Test Championship (WTC) final last month, was on a three-week break, during which players were free to go anywhere they wanted as England opened up following lockdown.

The Indian team was not scheduled to play any warm-up against any county team due to the ongoing pandemic.

However, BCCI’s request for a warm-up game following the dismal show in WTC final is being mulled over by the ECB.

It will be interesting to see if the ECB organises a warm-up game against a county XI and whether they take any measures for it.

The British government is slowly opening sporting venues across the country and the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy at the Wembley Stadium hosted a crowd of 60,000 people.

The Indian team is scheduled to play a five-Test series against England in August-September.

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