Blow for Bengal’s Ranji prep when 7 members test positive for COVID-19


File photo of the Bengal Ranji cricket team.

Ahead of the first national tournament, the Bengal Ranji Trophy team’s preparation will be disrupted after 7 members of their team tested positive for COVID-19.

Bengali, who are placed in Group B along with Vidarbha, Rajasthan, Kerala, Haryana and Tripura, are expected to start their campaign against Tripura in Bengaluru from January 13th.

“Given the current pandemic situation, the Cricket Association of Bengal had RT-PCR testing of all Bengali cricketers as a safety measure,” CAB Secretary Snehasish Ganguly said in a statement late Sunday evening.

“The results are in and some players have been found to have tested positive. The CAB is taking all necessary precautions and actions in this regard.”

According to sources, six Bengali players – Sudip Chatterjee, Anustup Majumdar, Kazi Junaid Saifi, Geet Puri, Pradipta Pramanik, Surajit Yadav – and assistant coach Sourasish Lahiri were infected with the virus.

All seven attended a squad warm-up game on the second campus of Jadavpur University in Salt Lake on Sunday.

“The details of the strain have yet to be determined. They will be isolated according to protocols,” the source said.

The development meant their two-day warm-up game against Prithvi Shaw-led Mumbai was canceled in the CCFC bleachers on Tuesday.

It remains to be seen if they would take part in the second warm-up game.

The CAB has also decided to put all currently running local tournaments on hold and has convened an emergency meeting of the Top Council for Tuesday to review the current COVID-19 situation.

“By the time of the meeting, taking into account the prevailing pandemic situation and the recent upswing, the CAB has decided to put all currently running local tournaments on hold,” said CAB President Avishek Dalmiya in a joint statement with Secretary Snehasish.

“The CAB is also taking immediate steps to vaccinate registered players between the ages of 15 and 18,” it added.

According to government data released on Sunday, the city in West Bengal has seen a 14-fold increase in daily coronavirus infections in West Bengal in one week.

The state recorded 6,153 infections on Sunday, including 3,194 in Calcutta. On December 26th there were 544 and 219 respectively.

According to the government bulletin, eight people died of coronavirus on Sunday, while nine such patients died the previous day.

(Input from PTI)


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