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India to undergo strict quarantine before taking on New Zealand in WTC final

The Indian men’s cricket team that will travel to the United Kingdom for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand and the subsequent five-Test match series against England will undergo a two-week-long quarantine in Mumbai, starting from May 19. 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) directed the travelling squad to start their quarantine at a team hotel in Mumbai from Wednesday but has allowed an exemption to players residing in the city to isolate at their respective homes. 

Mumbai-based players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and coach Ravi Shastri will enter the bio-bubble at the team hotel on May 24. 

Chartered flight arrangements have been made by the BCCI to pick up players and support staff from across the country. The BCCI is being ultra cautious and has demanded three negative test results for every individual before the team boards the plane to the UK on June 2. 

Despite the stringent bio-bubble in Mumbai, the Indian team will also serve another 10 days of quarantine on reaching Southampton, where the WTC final is scheduled to take place. 

This would mean that the Indian team would have already been in quarantine for 24 days before taking on New Zealand. Fortunately for India, the team hotel is located within the premises of the Rose Bowl cricket ground where the final will be played, allowing players to train in small batches without much restrictions. 

In 2020, West Indies and Pakistan quarantined in Southampton and Manchester before playing Tests against England. No positive cases were reported during the duration of either series. 

As far as travel is concerned for family members of the Indian contingent, the BCCI is yet to hear anything concrete from the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Featured photo: WILLIAM WEST / AFP

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