Veteran Black Caps drummer Ross Taylor is hopeful the right decisions will be made regarding the virus-stricken Indian Premier League as the country continues to tackle the raging Covid-19 pandemic.
Club Twenty20’s glamorous competition was tossed into the air last night with two Kolkata Knight Riders players – Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier – testing positive for coronavirus. The team’s match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore was subsequently postponed.
The Knight Riders are coached by former black cap Brendon McCullum and include current New Zealand internationals Tim Seifert and Lockie Ferguson. Players and staff were placed in segregation and entered into a daily testing routine.
Speaking at the Black Caps training base in Lincoln, Taylor notes the dire situation in India and feels for their people.
“You see all the pictures on TV and things have gone downhill quickly,” he said.
“I’ve been there a few times before – they’re lovely people and they love their cricket, but this cricket is a side spectacle and I hope they can get this coronavirus under control as soon as possible and get back to normal life. It’s pretty. disappointing to watch and wish them the best.
“New Zealand Cricket and the Players Association are in regular contact with the players there. I’m sure they’re all in slightly different boats as far as where they sit and how they feel, but I’m sure that no matter what. the days and weeks to come, the right decisions will be made. “
Taylor says he has kept in touch with players and coaches in India. “They are all in different bubbles and each team is slightly different.”
Ajaz Patel, who is also at training camp in Lincoln, says he knows many people in India personally who are going through difficult times.
“The situation is not terrible. Being in New Zealand we are quite immune from this and knowing that a lot of friends and family there are going through Ramadan at the same time … certainly not an easy time for people in india and me. I sincerely hope this will improve fairly quickly, ”he said.
“You feel so helpless to be halfway around the world, there really isn’t much you can do.”
As to whether the IPL should go ahead or be canceled, Patel says he’s sitting on the fence.
“It is a choice that the BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] should do and what they think is right and how they go about it. As players we just have to go with what it is and what we’re comfortable doing. If I was in this situation whether I was playing or not … I can’t really tell you.
“I hope it brings some joy to some people… if it brings some joy then why not.”
The IPL released a statement in the wake of the outbreak, confirming that the Knight Riders medical team is in continuous contact with the two affected players and determining close and casual contact of the two cases.
NZ Cricket said he is working with IPL and is monitoring the situation closely.
“We continue to work with our members playing in the IPL in what is a fluid situation,” a spokesperson for NZ Cricket told the Herald.
“It’s clear the circumstances they find themselves in changed a bit yesterday with some local players and support staff pushing Covid into the bubble.
“None have yet requested to return home, but we continue to monitor developments.”
Taylor says he was fully vaccinated ahead of their two tests in England and the World Testing Championship final against India in Southampton next month. He adds that their trip could still be affected by the virus that is indeed widespread in the world.
“It’s an evolving beast – it’s changing all the time and the UK could change while we’re there. You don’t want to think about it too much, it is what it is and you just manage what’s in front of you. We are pretty confident that players are being supported overseas as much as possible and New Zealand Cricket and the Players Association have our best interests at heart over the weeks and months to come. come. “
Meanwhile, Taylor was confirmed to have a grade one muscle strain in his left calf after an MRI yesterday.
Taylor suffered the injury on the first day of camp yesterday at Lincoln, and will stay with the team to rehabilitate the blow over the next few days.
“Lots of important cricket to come, you better get to the bottom of what it really is. Glad to have had the MRI yesterday,” he says.
“I had some acupuncture, which probably made it more painful than before, but I feel comfortable.”