India’s wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has tested positive for Covid in England. This comes ahead of India’s Test series against England slated to begin next month. Pant has already been in self-isolation for eight days and it is unclear when he will join the rest of the squad. While Pant should have been more careful — his social media account shows he had attended a football game during the recent Euro tournament — something also needs to be said about the poor scheduling of Team India matches in England.
After the World Test Championship (WTC) final last month, the team has been essentially stuck in England, forced to wait for more than a month for the England series to begin. This certainly puts the team at risk of contracting Covid. True, there was no way of knowing that India would make it to the WTC final. Still that possibility should have been factored into the schedule. Meanwhile, a second-strung Indian team is travelling to Sri Lanka for a limited over series there. Clearly, the scheduling and logistics are all over the place.
That said, these are unusual times and sports have to live with Covid. Therefore, the possibility of athletes contracting the virus will remain in the foreseeable future. In fact, that’s the big challenge for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. There is every chance that a few athletes will be hit by the virus during the mega sporting event, dampening the competition somewhat. Sports fans and athletes simply have to get used to this.
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