Cricket: IPL match cancelled after Kolkata Knight Riders players reportedly test positive for COVID-19

  • Updated
  • 03/05/2021

The Indian Premier league match between the Kolkata Knights Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore has been cancelled, after two of the Knight Riders players reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Cricinfo, spinner Varun Chakravarthy and seamer Sandeep Warriors are the two affected players. 

The team is coached by Kiwi great Brendon McCullum, with current Blackcaps players Lockie Ferguson and Tim Seifert both members of the squad, all of whom - along with the rest of their teammates and staff - have tested negative.

Chakravarthy was officially cleared to leave the IPL bubble to undergo a shoulder scan, which is where it's believed he was exposed.

The positive tests threaten to throw the tournament into further disarray, with players already leaving India to escape its worsening COVID-19 crisis.

Last week, Australian players Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, and Kane Richardson all returned home.

IPL chairman Brijesh Patel did not respond to requests for comment but a member of the league's governing council said there was no threat of the tournament being called off.

"We are investigating how the infection happened but we have full confidence in the bio-bubble arrangements. It's totally secure," the member told Reuters by telephone requesting anonymity.

Cricket Australia said it has no immediate plans to bring its players back from India.

"We've been in touch with the players there and they are generally in good spirits," CA acting chief executive Nick Hockley told radio station SEN before the Indian cricket board (BCCI) made public the positives cases in the IPL.

"The BCCI have come out and said they understand and want to support the players in making sure they get home safely at the end."

Australia has banned all arrivals from India until May 15.

Last year's IPL was staged in the United Arab Emirates because of the pandemic.

The UAE is also the back-up venue for this year's Twenty20 World Cup which is scheduled to take place in India in October-November.

Last week, NZ Cricket players association boss Heath Mills insisted all nine of the Blackcaps contingent in action across the Twenty20 league had indicated they intended to stay.

"They're anxious about what they see happening around them, as we are watching from here with the COVID-19 situation," Mills told Newshub. "It's clearly horrific. 

"But they also know it's their job, it's their work, and they have complete trust in the IPL and the BCCI and the Indian Government to do the right thing.

"The players are comfortable being there and no one has indicated to me that they wish to come home."