London: After it was revealed that wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant tested positive for Covid-19, the Indian cricket board’s decision to allow players to visit sporting venues as well as other public places in England and mingle with the crowd during their three-week break has come under scrutiny.
Pant attended the Euro 2020 pre-quarterfinal match between England and Germany on June 29 and later tweeted photos of himself and a few of his friends in the crowd.
“It was a pleasure to watch [emoticon: football]. [emoticons: English and German flags] “Pant had tweeted photos from the match, which was held at Wembley Stadium.
Other players who have visited Wembley to watch Euro 2020 football include Hanuma Vihari and Jasprit Bumrah. During the break, team coach Ravi Shastri and premier off-spinner R Ashwin, who played a County Championship match for Surrey this week, paid a visit to Wimbledon.
Although the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has yet to comment, reports indicate that Pant was tested about a week ago and will be tested again on July 18.
Pant will not be attending the team’s camp in Durham, which begins on Thursday.
The Indian cricket team, which arrived in England in early June and then competed in the World Test Championship (WTC) final last month, was on a three-week break during which players were free to go wherever they wanted as England opened up following the lockdown.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Indian team was not scheduled to play any warm-up games against county teams.
However, the ECB is considering the BCCI’s request for a warm-up game following the disappointing performance in the WTC final.
It will be interesting to see if the ECB organises a warm-up game against a county XI and if any precautions are taken.
The British government is gradually opening sporting venues throughout the country, and the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy at Wembley Stadium drew 60,000 spectators.
In August-September, the Indian team will play a five-Test series against England.