MS Dhoni's parents, in his hometown of Ranchi, have tested positive for Covid-19 and were admitted to a hospital on Wednesday. Dhoni has chosen to stay on with the Chennai Super Kings for their IPL 2021 campaign, and Stephen Fleming, the team coach, confirmed that the franchise is "well aware of his family's situation, and the support has been set up for MS and his family."
"From a management point of view, we're well aware of his family's situation, and the support has been set up for MS and his family. Talking with MS, the situation is under control for now but we will monitor that over the next few days," Fleming said in a press interaction after the Super Kings beat the Kolkata Knight Riders by 18 runs in Mumbai on Wednesday. "Obviously, it's a tough time for everybody, and the fact that it's affecting India the way it is, but also reaching the IPL with friends and family - hopefully not into the bubbles, but we've spent quite a bit of time talking about care of the friends and families in the wider group.
"We have that responsibility to make sure that he's got the support he needs and we hope that his family recovers quickly."
Some of the IPL teams have been affected by Covid-19, which has seen a huge surge in India in recent weeks, more than others. The Knight Riders' Nitish Rana had tested positive on April 3 after arriving in Mumbai, but has since recovered and has been a part of all his team's games so far. The Delhi Capitals' Axar Patel tested positive after checking into the team hotel in Mumbai, and is yet to take part in the IPL action, while many others - Kiran More, the Mumbai Indians wicketkeeping consultant and talent scout, the Royal Challengers Bangalore's Devdutt Padikkal and Daniel Sams, as well as members of the Wankhede Stadium groundstaff, have all suffered from the virus at different stages, and to varying degrees, so far.
Elsewhere, Liam Livingstone, the English batter who was a part of the Rajasthan Royals set-up, returned home citing "bubble fatigue" after travelling from one bio-secure bubble to another over the past many months. Similarly, Mitchell Marsh had informed the Sunrisers Hyderabad ahead of the tournament that he wouldn't be taking part in the IPL because of fears around the length of time he would be required to spend in bio-bubbles.
So far, 15 matches of the tournament have taken place, in Mumbai and in Chennai, and the juggernaut will now move to Ahmedabad and Delhi, and then Bengaluru and Kolkata, before returning to Ahmedabad for the playoffs and the final.