The Indian Women’s team has been hit by another Covid-19 case as the Indian squad left for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham without two of their players on Sunday, 24th of July. The names of the players have been kept anonymous so far and they will join the squad in England once they test negative for the virus. Women’s cricket is making its debut in the CWG in Birmingham, with cricket only featuring once before at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which was a men’s tournament.
Eight participating teams have been divided into two groups of four, and India has been placed in the group alongside Australia, Pakistan, and Barbados. Earlier, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had confirmed that one of the players tested positive while the squad trained at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore before departing for the English shores on Sunday. The news of a second player testing positive in the Indian camp was brought forward by an Indian Olympic Association official on Tuesday. “A second player has tested positive for COVID-19, and it happened before departure. Both the players remain in India,” the official said. The Harmanpreet Kaur-led Indian side has already landed in Birmingham, and given the timeline of the fixtures, the two Indian players who have remained in India due to Covid-19 will not be with the team in their opening fixture against World Champions Australia on the 29th of July. They are also unlikely to feature in the following game on the 31st against eternal rivals Pakistan.
India’s final league game will be against Barbados on the 3rd of August. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) shared a video in a post via their official Twitter handle, welcoming the Indian contingent in Birmingham. The players and staff can be seen making their way out of the Birmingham airport while donning their masks. “Glimpses from Indian women’s cricket team’s arrival in Birmingham for #CWG2022 Keep your #Cheer4India messages coming in,” The Tweet from SAI read.