Spooked by Omicron, BCCI not sending Shardul for SA A series

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has informed pacer Shardul Thakur that his participation in the India A tour to South Africa is on hold at the moment and instead he will have to join the senior team camp before the trip to the Rainbow Nation.

Thakur was supposed to fly in a few days to South Africa via Dubai but it is learnt that the Indian board didn’t want to take any chance, especially with the fear of the new COVID virus strain Omicron hitting that country.

Thakur was supposed to play the last four-day game against South Africa A at Bloemfontein from December 6. As per the original schedule, he was supposed to undergo three-day quarantine before joining the India A team bubble.

Despite the global fear about the new variant fear, the Indian board, in consultation with Cricket South Africa (CSA), has continued the A tour. The board got feedback that there are hardly any cases of the new COVID variant in Bloemfontein and as the team is in a secure bio-bubble, the series can go ahead.
“The India A games will be played as per schedule at the moment. The players are in a bio-bubble and we have been constantly monitoring the situation, while maintaining regular contact with Cricket South Africa (CSA). The matches will be played behind closed doors, but as of now, they will be held as per the itinerary. Even the Indian government hasn’t sent any advisory (to us), so the India A tour is on at the moment,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal told The Indian Express.

Two Indian players – Ishan Kishan and Deepak Chahar – have already joined the India A squad after completing their three- day quarantine.

The India A team is touring South Africa for three unofficial Tests, three one-dayers and four T20s.

Players rested to attend camp in Mumbai

Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Thakur have been asked to undergo a three-day camp in Mumbai before the team flies to South Africa. They are not part of the Indian team which is playing the two-Test series against New Zealand. The second Test is scheduled in Mumbai from December 3. These five players have been asked to undergo three-day quarantine and form a bio-bubble. They will join the main squad once the Indian team departs to South Africa after the Mumbai Test.

Patel set to remain IPL chairman

Former India batsman Brijesh Patel and Mizoram’s Khairul Jamal Majumdar are likely to continue as IPL chairman and Governing council member respectively as there are likely to be no contests in the BCCI elections once again. The Indian board has called for an election in Kolkata on December 4 for the posts of IPL Chairman and IPL Governing Council member. The Indian Express understands that BCCI election officer AK Joti has received the nomination of only one candidate for each post.

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