“We have asked everybody in the bubble to quarantine, so they are isolated in their rooms,” says CEO Venky Mysore
Varun Chakravarthy, the mystery spinner, is “still a little under the weather”, while seam bowler Sandeep Warrier is “doing fine” and doesn’t have any symptoms, Venky Mysore, the Kolkata Knight Riders CEO, has said. Both players tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday – the results of which came to light earlier in the day – resulting in the team’s fixture against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Ahmedabad being postponed to a later date.
“Difficult times, but I’m happy to report that both Varun and Sandeep are doing well,” Mysore told Star Sports. “We have taken all the precautions that are necessary and have been advised by the medical teams of IPL and KKR and also getting appropriate advice from outside on what the right thing to do is. Sandeep, in particular, is doing fine. No temperature, no other symptoms, and he is feeling good. Varun is still a little under the weather, but better than yesterday and both of them are in good spirits.”
Throwing light on the measures taken in the aftermath of the two positive cases in the camp, Mysore said the franchise has asked the entire contingent – players, support staff, management, hotel staff and catering staff – to mandatorily quarantine in their rooms for the next five days. Warrier has been isolated on a different floor of the team hotel, which has a separate air-conditioning duct, away from the rest of the squad.
“I think everyone has been very proactive,” Mysore aid. “We found out approximately 24 hours ago about Varun testing positive, so the immediate steps we took was to isolate him, and then later on in the night when we got test results which also involved Sandeep, we put them on a different floor with a different air conditioning ducts system to make sure others are appropriately protected. We have asked everybody in the bubble (players, support staff, management, hotel staff and service staff) to quarantine, so they are isolated in their rooms. The food delivery is on a knock and drop basis, which everyone has gotten used to by now.”
Knight Riders are scheduled to play next on May 8 against Delhi Capitals. This gives them little less than two days after coming out of quarantine to prepare for the next game. Mysore is hopeful the test results on May 6 will allow them at least a training session if not two before that fixture.
“The team doctor was on the call as well, and his assessment is that if everything’s goes well, the plan that we have put in place, we should be able to get the results sometime later in the day on the 6th of May,” Mysore explained. “Which means that potentially we could even get out that evening for a practice subject to what the coaches want to do and then get ready for 7th and 8th depending on when the rescheduled games would potentially take place.”
Knight Riders are currently placed in the bottom half of the table, with two wins in seven matches. Mysore compared their current position to their standing at the halfway mark during their championship-winning run in 2014 and is optimistic of them repeating that again.
“I think the way we are in the points table and the wins and losses certainly belies the potential of this team,” he said. “But you know, you always look for positives, and there were a couple of games that should have gone our way but which didn’t. But if you reflect back to our last championship (in 2014). I don’t know if it is a coincidence or it is a good omen or what. Exactly after seven games, we had the same record (two wins and five losses) and we went on to win the championship.
“So there is plenty of cricket to be played, but I think the most important thing right now is the health and safety of all the concerned. I think if we get past this challenge that has come our way, we will do everything; that’s how we are prioritising it. First and foremost, if we are able to get past this, I think everybody will take the positives and reflect back on what we have done in the past and hopefully, you know, this would be an interesting inflection point in our campaign. So looking forward to that, but big thanks to all our supporters standing by us, and we are really privileged to have that kind of support.”
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo