Rishabh Pant tested positive for Covid in England and will not play the practice match in Durham.© AFP
Sourav Ganguly, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), defended Rishabh Pant after the wicketkeeper-batsman contracted the coronavirus in England. On Thursday, the BCCI revealed that Rishabh Pant and team’s training assistant/net bowler Dayanand Garani tested positive for COVID-19 and will not travel with the rest of the squad to Durham where Team India are scheduled to play a practice match ahead of their five-match Test series against England. Ganguly, during a chat with News18, defended Pant and said that it is “physically impossible to wear mask all the time”.
“We have seen Euro Championship and Wimbledon in England. Rules have changed (with crowd being allowed inside venues). They were on leave and it’s physically impossible to wear mask all the time,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by News 18.
After the World Test Championship final, the Indian team was granted a 20-day break.
During the break, Pant was spotted with his friends at the Wembley Stadium in London during a Euro 2020 match between England and Germany.
Bowling coach Bharat Arun, Wriddhiman Saha and Abhimanyu Easwaran were identified as close contacts and were isolated from the rest of the squad. The trio along with Pant and training assistant did not travel with the team to Durham.
Team India travelled to Durham on Thursday and are set to play a three-day practice match starting July 20 to gear up for the upcoming Test series.
Asked about who will open the innings in the absence of injured Shubman Gill, the former India captain said he does not interfere in the team selection.
“I don’t interfere in all these matters. Team Management will decide this,” Ganguly said.
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