While cricket has resumed across the globe, it must be noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is still looming around. Although the show on field goes on, there are players who test positive for the virus and are unfortunately forced to miss out on playing cricket. There have been a few instances of the same during ongoing season of PSL 2022 and international cricket has been no different.
Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Ruturaj Gaikwad had contracted the virus before the start of India-West Indies series few days back. And now, before the start of T20I series between India and Sri Lanka, an RCB player has tested positive for COVID-19 which has ruled him out of the 3-match series.
The player is none other than Sri Lanka's spin-bowling all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga, who had contracted the virus during his side's tour of Australia. The 24-year-old, who was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 10.75 crore in the IPL 2022 mega auction, missed the last few matches of Australia series due to coronavirus and he has unfortunately not yet recovered from the same.
An official statement from SLC on Wednesday read, "Wanindu Hasaranga, who was in isolation after contracting Covid-19, has once again, returned a positive result when a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) was conducted on the player yesterday (22nd February). A PCR test too confirmed the result."
"He was first found to be positive during a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) conducted on the 15th February 2022. The player was transferred to Melbourne from Canberra and will remain in isolation until he returns a negative PCR Test Report," it added.
Quite a few big names to miss IND-SL series
Hasaranga's absence is indeed a huge blow for Sri Lanka who are already without the services of Avishka Fernando (knee injury), Ramesh Mendis (thumb injury), Nuwan Thushara (side strain) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (failed to meet fitness standards).
Meanwhile, there are a few concerns in the other camp as well with India's duo of Deepak Chahar and Suryakumar Yadav also ruled out of the T20I series. Notably, both sides are unlikely to name any replacements considering the COVID-19 protocols.