Tim Seifert has become the second overseas player, after Mitchell Marsh, in the Delhi Capitals camp to test positive for Covid-19. The update came shortly before the scheduled start of Capitals’ match against Punjab Kings at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium on Wednesday. The positive result emerged after a round of Rapid Antigen Tests conducted on Wednesday morning and it is learnt that Seifert, the New Zealand wicketkeeper-batter, will be moved to a facility away from the team hotel to isolate. For a while, there appeared to be question marks around the match, but the Kings players first and then their opponents reached the venue, before 6.30 p.m. local time. The organisers had kept open the option of rescheduling the match, which on Tuesday was shifted from Pune to Mumbai. It is also learnt that the IPL had asked the Capitals team to conduct another round of tests on the franchise’s personnel before they left for the ground.
“Things have been a little bit interrupted with Mitch Marsh down with Covid,” Ricky Ponting, the Capitals head coach, said on Star Sports before the game. “Our session yesterday was pushed back. The preparations haven’t been perfect and I addressed the group about the two options we have – we can drag our backsides around or we can take the positives around and realise that we are here for a big tournament with a great franchise. You need leaders to stand up and so far [David] Warner has been great, Rishabh [Pant] is good and Mustafizur [Rahman], apart from an over or two has been good.
“The tournament for us so far has been stop-start. I think it’s all there. The players are very aware of the way I want them to play. There have been interruptions with player availability but we haven’t spoken much about that. Two wins in two games here and we should get used to playing on the side pitches.”
Seifert is the sixth member of the Capitals contingent to test positive, after Marsh, physio Patrick Farhart, sports massage therapist Chetan Kumar, team doctor Abhijit Salvi, and social media content team member Akash Mane.
While there had been doubts about the match taking place after the initial set of positive results, the prospects of it going ahead had brightened by late afternoon on Tuesday, when Capitals were given permission to conduct a training session. The IPL, though, laid down the condition that only the players and the coaches would be allowed to attend the session, which took place at the Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai.
The decision to change the venue – from Pune to Mumbai – was taken at a meeting on Tuesday “to avoid any further incident due to any undetected case during a long-distance bus journey in a closed environment”, since the teams are based in Mumbai.
It is understood that Marsh was moved to hospital as a precautionary measure after he felt unwell, including experiencing chills. The others who tested positive had been moved to a separate facility outside the team hotel because the hotel where the Capitals are staying had laid down the condition that anyone testing positive, including those that are asymptomatic, would need to move out of the premises.
From the IPL 2022 playing conditions:
What happens if a player or squad member tests positive for Covid-19 during the IPL?
The participant who tests positive will have to isolate for a minimum of seven days, and during that period, he will be tested on the sixth and seventh days. For him to re-enter the team’s bio-secure environment, he will have to provide two consecutive negative RT-PCR tests taken 24 hours apart, full resolution of symptoms, see that there are no fresh symptoms for more than 24 hours, and that there have been no use of medications for more than 24 hours.