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India spin star Patel tests positive for coronavirus ahead of IPL

Spin star Axar Patel has tested positive for coronavirus and been put into isolation, his team said Saturday as the Indian Premier League battles new pandemic fears days ahead of its start.

IPL organisers are nervously watching a surge in coronavirus cases across India as 10 ground staff at the stadium where Patel’s team play their first match on April 10 have also tested positive, reports said. 

Patel, who took four five-wicket hauls in the Test series against England last month, was found to have the coronavirus after joining his Delhi Capitals side as they prepare for the new IPL tournament. 

He checked into the team hotel in Mumbai on March 28 “with a negative report,” the Capitals said in a statement.

“His report from the second COVID test, came positive. He is currently in isolation at a designated medical care facility,” the team added.

All eight teams, packed with the main cricket stars from around the world, have been put into secure bio-bubbles ahead of the start of the tournament with a clash between reigning champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai on Friday.

The Capitals play their first game on Saturday against Chennai Super Kings at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium where 10 staff are reported to have tested positive.

Maharashtra state, which includes Mumbai, has become the epicentre of the new pandemic wave. The number of new cases across India has reached nearly 90,000 a day — having doubled in less than two weeks.

Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar went into hospital in Mumbai on Friday after announcing that he had the coronavirus. 

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