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IPL 2021: SRH’s Natarajan tests Covid positive, six close contacts isolated

The deadly Covid-19 virus has come back to hit IPL 2021 hard with Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer T Natarajan testing positive. Natarajan tested positive in a scheduled RT-PCR test. The 30-year-old has isolated himself from the rest of the SRH squad and is currently asymptomatic.

Six close contacts of Natarajan — his team-mate Vijay Shankar, net bowler Periyasamy Ganesan, Team Manager Vijay Kumar, Physiotherapist Shyam Sundar J, Doctor Anjana Vannan and Logistics Manager Tushar Khedkar — have been kept in isolation as well.

“The rest of the contingent including the close contacts underwent RT-PCR tests at 5AM local time this morning and the test reports are negative. As a result, tonight’s game between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals will go ahead at the Dubai International Stadium, Dubai,” said a release by the IPL on Wednesday.

Natarajan was set to make a comeback to cricket in the second leg of the IPL 2021. He had sustained a knee injury and had subsequent surgery, which kept him out of action since appearing for the franchise in two matches of the first half of IPL 2021 in April.

Earlier on May 4, IPL 2021 was postponed in India after Wriddhiman Saha of SRH, DC’s Amit Mishra, KKR bowlers Sandeep Warrier and Varun Chakravarthy, CSK’s bowling and batting coaches, Lakshmipathy Balaji and Michael Hussey, tested positive for Covid-19 at the height of second wave in India.

The tournament resumed after a break of almost four months in the UAE with strict bio-bubble measures on September 19 with Chennai Super Kings beating defending champions Mumbai Indians by 20 runs in Dubai.

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