Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo
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At least two more fresh cases of Covid-19 have been detected in Delhi Capitals' contingent, including an overseas player. ESPNcricinfo understands that the other positive case concerns a support staff member.
This takes the total number of cases in this IPL to three after Captials' physiotherapist Patrick Farhart had become the first person to test positive this season.
The latest cases emerged two days before Capitals' next match, which is scheduled in Pune against Punjab Kings. There is no information yet on whether the match would be affected, but Capitals cancelled their scheduled travel to Pune on Monday after the entire contingent was asked to go into in-room quarantine. It is understood that the entire Capitals contingent is undergoing fresh testing, based on which the next step is likely to be decided.
Farhart had tested positive the day before Capitals played Royal Challengers Banglaore at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday. Consequently, the IPL asked both teams to maintain social distancing and not do the usual milling around, after the match, where players and coaches mingle.
It is understood that the player returned a positive rapid antigen test and is now awaiting results of the RT-PCR test done on Monday. The support staff member tested positive the day after Farhart tested positive and has been isolating since.
As per the IPL rules any person testing positive in the tournament bubble would need to isolate for a minimum of seven days. To re-enter the bubble, the person would need to return consecutive negative RT-PCR tests taken 24 hours apart. If a franchise had multiple positive cases, the rule says the team can take the field with a minimum of 12 players, including seven Indians and one substitute. In the scenario where 12 players are not available then the IPL would take the final call, which would be binding.
Both the teams and the IPL are bound to be concerned by the development, considering the 2021 IPL had to be abandoned at the halfway stage after the number of Covid-positive cases multiplied across several teams. At least five teams had returned positive cases last year, including Capitals after their then legspinner Amit Mishra returned two positive tests.