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Yash Dhull, captain of India's Under-19 team, Shaik Rasheed, the vice-captain, and four other players have returned positive tests for Covid-19 (or are suspected of being Covid positive), forcing them out of the Group B World Cup game against Ireland in Tarouba on Wednesday. The others who had to miss the match were Aaradhya Yadav, Vasu Vats, Manav Parakh and Siddarth Yadav.
A BCCI statement* detailing the medical status of the players said that while Sidharth had returned a positive RT-PCR test, Dhull, Aaradhya and Rasheed have returned positive Rapid Antigen Tests so far, while Parakh and Vats have shown symptoms of Covid-19, but have returned negative Rapid Antigen Tests; their RT-PCR results are awaited.
The BCCI "is monitoring the situation closely and is in touch with the management and the coaching group," the statement, which came in late on Wednesday evening, said. "The players will remain in isolation but will be under the constant supervision of the BCCI Medical Team."
Nishant Sindhu was named captain of the team for the match in the absence of the captain and his deputy. India had just 11 fit players for the game after the six went into isolation.
India, who won their first match, against South Africa, by 45 runs, next play Uganda on Saturday, January 22.
Before the competition, the BCCI had announced five travelling reserves: Rishit Reddy, Uday Saharan, Ansh Gosai, Amrit Raj Upadhyay and PM Singh Rathore. However, they are all in India and not with the team.
If the need arises, matches can be rescheduled too, with the ICC stressing on the need to be fluid and flexible because of the circumstances.
The tournament playing conditions state that if a match cannot be held on schedule [or is abandoned on the day of the match] because of Covid-19-related reasons, the event technical committee will try to find a way to reschedule the game, but the rescheduling will only be done "within reason and without unreasonably impacting on the participating teams or on the staging of other matches".
At the Under-19 World Cup, the bubbles are being managed in such a way that the wellbeing of the young players - both physical and mental - is taken care of. The ICC is taking cognisance of the fact that it is a long tournament, added with the fact that the young players have not been in such situations before. There will also be mental-health professionals available to the teams as it was during the men's T20 World Cup last year.
* The story was updated after the BCCI issued a press statement.