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CWI monitoring COVID-19 spike in India

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Cricket West Indies (CWI) Chief Executive Officer Johnny Grave says they are keeping close tabs on the Indian Premier League (IPL) which has been affected by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

India recorded its highest daily coronavirus death toll at the weekend, since the pandemic began. The country now has more than 20 million cases and in excess of 220,000 deaths.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the team of Jamaican Andre Russell and Trinidadian Sunil Narine, have two confirmed cases of the coronavirus after leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy and fast bowler Sandeep Warrier tested positive.

The positive cases have forced the postponement of the match between KKR and Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday. KKR sent out a statement saying that both players have been isolated and that the rest of the team, which has so far tested negative, will be quarantined for the next five days at the team hotel and will be tested daily before their next scheduled match on May 8.

Dialogue with players in india Grave said CWI has been having dialogue with the West Indian players on duty in India.

“We’ve been in contact with our players through our medical staff,” he said. “Obviously, they are all concerned about the COVID-19 situation in India at the moment, but we will continue the monitoring of the situation closely and will be in regular contact with all the West Indians in the tournament.”

Nine West Indian players are involved in the IPL this season. These include West Indies One Day and Twenty20 captain Kieron Pollard, who plays for the Mumbai Indians.

Jason Holder has turned out in one match for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, with Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran suiting up for the Punjab Kings with Fabian Allen, whom is yet to play a match.

But Allen’s agent Brad Gillings told The Gleaner that he is not willing to comment on the matter at this time.

Dwayne Bravo is also with the Chennai Super Kings, who also saw their assistant coach Lakshmipathy Balaji testing positive for the coronavirus, while Shimron Hetmyer is also part of the Delhi Capitals set-up.

Reports in India say that the Board of Control for Cricket in India is working on a plan to shift the remaining matches in the IPL to a lone venue in Mumbai to minimise the risk of contagion.

ESPNCricinfo says that the relocation will necessitate a restructured tournament schedule, with multiple double-headers. There is also the possibility of the IPL final being moved from May 30 to early June.

Several international players have had concerns with the growing number of coronavirus cases and deaths in India.

Australians Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, and Kane Richardson flew home early from India because of concerns about the virus.

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also took a break from the tournament to support his family.

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