In what could be a massive blow for Team Delhi ahead of the 2021 Indian T20 League season, all-rounder Axar Patel has been tested positive for the global virus, the last year's finalists have confirmed.

"Delhi Capitals all-rounder Axar Patel has tested positive for the virus. He had checked into the team hotel in Mumbai on March 28, 2021, with a negative report. His report from the second test came positive. He is currently in isolation at a designated medical care facility. The Delhi Capitals medical team is in constant touch with Axar and ensuring his safety and well-being. We wish him a speedy recovery," said a statement from the team.

As per the regulations set by the BCCI, the all-rounder, who starred in India's Test series win over Australia Down Under, is now self-isolating and will continue to do so for at least 10 days. As per the board's statement, if a player has returned positive with the test, he/she must be kept in isolation in the designated area outside the bio-secure environment. “During the 10-day isolation, the individual must rest and avoid any exercises. The team doctor should regularly monitor the case. If symptoms worsen during the course of isolation, the individual must be hospitalised immediately,” the BCCI SOP states.

Patel is the second player from the Indian T20 League who has returned positive from the virus after Kolkata's Nitish Rana. The batsman has since returned two negative tests and has resumed training with his teammates in Chennai. Delhi play their first game of the new Indian T20 League season against Chennai on April 10 at the Wankhede Stadium; a venue where as many as eight members of the groundstaff recently tested positive for the virus.

Delhi are already without their regular captain Shreyas Iyer, who has been ruled out owing to a shoulder injury. Rishabh Pant will lead the team in Iyer's absence.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Xavier Galiana