Rishabh Pant isolating after positive Covid-19 test ahead of England series

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India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month, the country’s cricket board has confirmed.

The 23-year-old has been isolating away from the rest of the India squad ahead of his side’s upcoming Test series in England.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has also announced one of its training assistants has tested positive.

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A statement from the BBCI read: “Wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant, who tested positive for Covid-19 on July 8, nears completion of his self-quarantine period while training assistant/net bowler Dayanand Garani has tested positive.”

India’s players have been in England since participating in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton last month and were given three weeks off after the game.

They are due to reassemble in Durham ahead of a practice match against a County Select XI on July 20. The five-match Test series against England begins at Trent Bridge on August 4.

Pant should be able to rejoin the squad in Durham but Garani and three close contacts within the touring party will remain in isolation at the team hotel in London.

Pant (left) is nearing the end of his quarantine period
Pant (left) is nearing the end of his quarantine period (Adam Davy/PA)

The statement added: “Pant, who had not stayed in the team hotel during the break period, is asymptomatic and currently undergoing self-isolation at the place where he reported positive.

“He is being closely monitored by the BCCI medical team and is on his way to recovery. He will be able to join the squad in Durham after returning two negative RT-PCR tests.”

The BCCI also confirmed all members of the touring group have received both doses of a Covid vaccine and have been taking lateral flow tests on a daily basis.

The Pant development, which was widely reported on Wednesday before being confirmed later by the BBCI, underlines the ongoing difficulties the English season continues to face amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Last week England were forced to name a new squad hastily for their one-day international series against Pakistan after the entirety of their original party were required to quarantine.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan fears further disruption.

Vaughan tweeted: “I fear for the 100 & the Indian Test series unless the isolation laws change .. we are bound to have cases as is the case with @RishabhPant17.. plus further down the line I fear the Ashes could be hugely affected with players pulling out unless bubbles/quarantine rules change!”

The County Select XI includes a couple of notable names, with opener Haseeb Hameed and Gloucestershire wicketkeeper James Bracey accepting the call.

Haseeb Hameed has been selected
Haseeb Hameed has been selected (Simon Cooper/PA)

Hameed is back on England’s radar after five years away following a resurgence in form at Nottinghamshire while Bracey endured a tough time with bat and gloves after making his Test bow against New Zealand earlier this summer.

He will be hoping to show that experience has not fazed him, having previously been identified as one of the brightest prospects in the domestic game.

Warwickshire’s Will Rhodes has been installed as captain, with Young Lions head coach Richard Dawson leading the group.

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