Former India wicketkeeper Kiran More, who is part of the Mumbai Indians' coaching set-up, has tested positive for Covid-19. More, who is a talent scout as well as wicketkeeping consultant with Mumbai, has isolated himself in Chennai, where the defending champions will play their initial set of matches, including the IPL opener against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 9.
As a precautionary measure, the Mumbai Indians cancelled their training session on Tuesday, the day More tested positive. ESPNcricinfo understands that rest of the Mumbai contingent underwent a rapid testing process and returned negative results. It could not be confirmed whether Mumbai, who won their fifth IPL title last season, would resume training on Wednesday. After landing in Chennai, Mumbai have conducted two training sessions at Chepauk on April 2 and 4.
"Mr. More is currently asymptomatic and has been isolated," the franchise said in a statement issued on Tuesday. "Mumbai Indians and Kiran More have followed all the BCCI health guidelines. The MI medical team will continue to monitor Mr. More's health and abide by the BCCI protocols."
While More joins a growing list of people in the IPL to have tested positive in the past week, his is among the rare cases of a person who has had to isolate after operating in a bubble.
It is understood that More had joined the franchise bubble in Mumbai in March, where the first phase of the preparatory camp was conducted. It was this bubble that the Indian players who took part in the England limited-overs series - including Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav - joined. The entire contingent then moved to Chennai on March 31 on a chartered flight. In Mumbai and Chennai, the franchise has rented an entire wing at team hotels exclusively, in order to reduce the chances of the bubble being breached.
In the pictures put out by the franchise on their social media, More can be seen attending team sessions in the past week both at the team hotel as well as at training sessions on the ground. It is understood that since the 2020 season, the franchise management led by the Mumbai owners have insisted on showing an uncompromising attitude towards maintaining a foolproof bubble environment.
Every member of the Mumbai contingent, including their family members who will be travelling during the IPL with them, had to do three RT-PCR tests before moving into the bubble. After going into the bubble too, they will need to undergo a hard quarantine, along with frequent testing daily, which is separate to the IPL protocols. It is understood that the franchise has been conducting rapid tests daily in the past few days, including on Tuesday.
According to the IPL protocols, asymptomatic cases or people with mild Covid-19 symptoms have to be isolated for a minimum of 10 days in a designated area outside of the biosecure bubble. The isolation begins from the time the symptoms are detected or from the date when the positive test is returned. The person can return to the bubble only after clearing two RT-PCR tests on the last two days of the isolation period. In the case of players, they must then undergo cardiac screening before resuming training.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo