‘Physically impossible to wear mask all the time’ – Sourav Ganguly defends Rishabh Pant
The southpaw won’t be travelling with the team to Durham.
Updated - Jul 16, 2021 8:36 am
Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian cricketer, has defended Rishabh Pant, who has tested positive for COVID-19. Virat Kohli’s men are currently on a break and the left-handed Pant was seen enjoying and going to watch Euro 2020 matches. The southpaw won’t be travelling with the team to Durham for preparation ahead of the five-match Test series against England.
The series gets underway on August 4 at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham with the other games to be played at the Lord’s, Headingley, Kennington Oval, and Old Trafford. Ganguly, also the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), backed Pant, saying that it’s not possible to wear masks everywhere.
“We have seen Euro Championship and Wimbledon in England. Rules have changed (with the crowd being allowed inside venues). They were on leave and it’s physically impossible to wear masks all the time,” Ganguly was quoted as saying in an exclusive interview with News18.
Rishabh Pant staying in isolation
Earlier, a BCCI source stated that Pant contracted COVID-19 and had been isolating for the past eight days. As per reports, Pant has been affected by the Delta variant, which has resulted in the surge of COVID-19 cases in England.
“He is in quarantine at an acquaintance’s place and won’t be travelling with the team to Durham on Thursday,” the source was quoted as saying, ESPNcricinfo reported.
“Yes, one player has tested positive but he has been in isolation for the last eight days. He was not staying in any hotel with the team, so no other player has been affected. As of now, no other player has tested positive. Also, you must be aware our secretary Jay Shah has written a letter to all players to maintain protocol,” BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla told.
The Indian team is set to play a practice match, starting July 20 to prepare for the high-voltage series. The Test series also marks the start of the 2021-23 cycle of the World Test Championship (WTC). Back in June, India played the final of the previous cycle against New Zealand at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. However, they went on to lose the match by eight wickets.