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The fresh season of the Ranji Trophy is all set to commence from 13 January but new COVID-19 cases across teams are sending signs of worry. After seven positive cases in the Bengal camp, two new COVID-19 cases have been detected in the Mumbai camp. All-rounder Shivam Dube and video analyst of the Mumbai team have returned with positive COVID-19 reports.

Sairaj Patil has been added to the 20-man Mumbai squad as Dube’s replacement for the first two games. "Yes, the two have tested positive for COVID19 and Sairaj Patil has been named as Dube's replacement," a source told PTI on Monday.

COVID-19 scare in Ranji trophy

After so many halts and complete stoppages on domestic cricket in 2020, players returned to action with the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The stakeholders were able to get Vijay Hazare Trophy completed and the focus now shifts to Ranji Trophy. However, with the new variant of COVID-19 in, clouds of uncertainty have started hovering once again.

Earlier on Monday, news about seven COVID-positive cases in the Bengal camp ringed the alarm for BCCI and players and now the two new cases in the Mumbai camp have only fuelled the talks around another such halt to domestic cricket.

During the second wave of COVID-19, BCCI tried conducting IPL 2021 behind closed doors but the tournament had to be called off midway and was later shifted to the UAE with stricter protocols. However, remaining in a bio-bubble has also raised concerns over players’ mental health and is forcing them to take tough decisions like sudden retirements and indefinite breaks.