U19 World Cup 2022: BCCI to send 5 reserve players to join team India after COVID positive cases

India U19 had only 11 players available to field against Ireland.

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India U19. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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The Board of Control for India (BCCI) is set to send five reserve players to West Indies to join the India U19 team for the ongoing World Cup. The board has decided to send extra players as six players from the camp were tested COVID-19 positive ahead of their Group B game against Ireland on January 19. The players who tested positive are – skipper Yash Dhull, vice-captain Shaik Rasheed, Aaradhya Yadav, Vasu Vats, Manak Parekh and Siddarth Yadav.

These players are currntly in isolation and recovering. Nishant Sandhu led the side and the team went on to win the game by 174 runs against Ireland. The entire squad was tested again after the game and no new case was reported. With this development, their last game against Uganda on January 22 will go ahead as per schedule. Meanwhile, pacer Vasu Vats, who was tested positive with symptoms, has returned negative.

The five players who are going as reserves are – Udhay Saharan, Abhishek Porel (wicketkeeper), Rishith Reddy, Ansh Gosai, PM Singh Rathore. However, the final decision on their trip will be taken by the ICC till late evening of January 21. There is a possibility that the team will play their Quarter-final game on January 29, which will give isolated players enough time to recover.

Meanwhile, team India doesn’t seem to be happy with the relaxed bio-bubble. A board official said that relaxing the bio-bubble is good but the ICC must ensure the safety of players. “Having a relaxed bubble is a good move. But the ICC should have ensured the hotels are exclusive only to the teams. The players are using the same lift and entry/exit points as other guests, which is bound to be risky,” a board official stated according to the New Indian Express.

VVS Laxman praises the Indian team 

The current head of the National Cricket Academy VVS Laxman has praised the Indian team for the kind of character shown against Ireland. The team had only 11 players available for the fixture. Laxman is in the Caribbean with the team for the tournament overlooking the proceedings.

“Tremendous show of character and maturity from the U-19 team. With just 11 players available for today’s game, to go out and express themselves the way they did was phenomenal. Can’t say how proud I am of them! The Ireland match is one they will cherish for life,” Laxman had tweeted after India’s win.