Four Mumbai players test Covid positive
Mumbai's preparation for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy took a hit as four of their players tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday. Middle-order mainstay Sarfaraz Khan, left-arm spinner Shams Mulani, leggie Prashant Solanki and all-rounder Sairaj Patil are the players who tested positive, confirmed an MCA official. Solanki was Mumbai's highest wicket-taker in the Vijay Hazare Trophy last season which Mumbai had won. Mulani also played a crucial role in that campaign picking nine wickets and scoring crucial runs down the order.
As per BCCI rules laid out for the tournament, all players and support staff have to undergo a mandatory RT-PCR test before they can travel for the tournament. The players came to know of their test results as they were preparing to leave for Guwahati.
While the rest of the 16 members and support staff boarded the flight, the players were edgy as most of them were part of the preparation camp and practice matches at the Wankhede Stadium and Mumbai Cricket Association's (MCA) BKC facility. Last week, most of them also played in the Talim Shield T20 tournament, the first tournament held in the city since Covid-19 enforced lockdown in March 2020. The tournament served as a selection platform for Mushtaq Ali.
Once the team reaches Guwahati, as per tournament protocols, they have to undergo seven-day quarantine.
Mumbai are placed in Elite Group B and will begin their campaign on November 4 against Karnataka. Baroda, Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Services are the other teams in the group.
The selection committee chairman, former India pacer Salil Ankola, confirmed that they have already picked the replacement players and will announce their names once their RT-PCR tests return negative.
The team will be led by India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane with Prithvi Shaw his deputy. Mumbai were knocked out in the group stage last season.