Ranji Trophy: Several players in Bengal’s squad reportedly tested positive for COVID-19

News Desk: Several players in Bengal’s Ranji Trophy squad and the team’s assistant coach have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) to cancel the training sessions and review the scheduled travel to Bengaluru for the Elite Group B game on January 8.

“Keeping in mind the current pandemic situation, #CAB had conducted RTPCR Tests of all Bengal cricketers. The results have come & it has been found certain players had tested positive. CAB is taking all necessary precautions & actions in this regard.” Hony Secy #SnehasishGanguly,” tweeted CAB late on Sunday.

A report quoting CAB joint secretary Debabrata Das said that the “positive results came up after the players and support staff were tested over the weekend keeping in mind the pandemic situation in the country as a whole and the state of West Bengal in particular”.

Bengal’s warm-up games against Mumbai, who are playing their Group C matches in Kolkata, too have been cancelled in the wake of the COVID-positive cases.

According to the report by the cricket portal, “a senior member of the Mumbai playing group has also tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the team’s departure for Kolkata today (Monday), and has not travelled with the team”.

Meanwhile, CAB has issued a notice informing about an “emergent meeting” on January 4 to review the current COVID-19 situation.

“An Emergent Apex Council has been convened by The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) on Tuesday, 4 January, 2022 to review the current Covid situation and take necessary decisions pertaining to holding of local tournaments (First Division, Second Division and District tournaments) at present. However, till the time the Emergent Apex Council meeting is held, keeping in mind the prevailing pandemic situation and the recent sudden upsurge, the CAB has decided to put on hold all the local tournaments currently underway for the time being.

“The CAB is also taking immediate steps to vaccinate the registered players who fall in the 15-18 age-bracket since health and safety of the cricketers and all concerned is paramount to the Association” said the CAB notice.

Kolkata is among six cities hosting the Ranji group-stage games this year, with Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram being the other centres. The city is also scheduled to host the Ranji knockouts.