Indian cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin has claimed that he has already taken two shots of the COVID-19 vaccine. The off-spinner and India Test player declared this on his YouTube channel, in a video that was uploaded on May 6.
“The only way we can escape corona is by getting vaccinated. I have also taken both doses of the vaccine,” said the cricketer and now active YouTuber. He also encourages the viewers and fans to mask up and line up for vaccines.
Ashwin, who was a part of the Delhi team during the Indian T20 league left the tournament after four games when his family was reported to have been infected by COVID-19.
This claim raises questions whether the Indian Cricket Board administered vaccines to players while they were in bio-bubbles during the T20 league which was disrupted on May 3.
The vaccine drive in the country was opened to all citizens over 18 only from May 1. Considering Ashwin is 34 years old, and the vaccine was only legally available from the start of the month, the question is how did the Tamil-Nadu cricketer manage to get both doses as of May 6?
The interval between the two doses of vaccine has to be anywhere between six to eight weeks, as per India’s vaccination program. With this logic, there are further doubts on the ‘how’ of Ashwin’s claim.
While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is encouraging its players to take the vaccine, it is not clear whether the governing board had already made arrangements for its cricketers, even before the official date.
Interestingly, Ashwin’s Delhi T20 teammate Shikhar Dhawan posted on social media about him getting the vaccine on May 6.
Vaccinated ✅ Can’t thank all our frontline warriors enough for their sacrifices and dedication. Please do not hesitate and get yourself vaccinated as soon as possible. It’ll help us all defeat this virus. pic.twitter.com/0bqBnsaWRh— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) May 6, 2021
Another teammate, Ajinkya Rahane too followed suit with a Twitter post on Saturday, May 8.
Got my first dose of the vaccine today. I urge everyone to register and get yourself vaccinated, if you’re eligible pic.twitter.com/VH2xYcTQ1i— Ajinkya Rahane (@ajinkyarahane88) May 8, 2021
It is intriguing to note that despite being in the same team, and the bubble, how could Ashwin end up taking two shots, when his colleagues have got only one?
Photo: ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP