Pakistan bowler Sohail Tanvir has become the second player to test positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Sri Lanka for the Lanka Premier League (LPL). Ravinderpal Singh, a Canada batsman who had been picked by the Colombo Kings franchise had also tested positive. The two are being treated and isolated at a separate hotel from the remainder of the LPL’s players and coaching staff.
Tanvir’s positive result had been conveyed to Kandy Tusker’s head coach Hashan Tillakaratne shortly after mid-day on Friday. “We have to talk to the franchise owners and find somebody to replace Tanvir,” Tillakaratne told ESPNcricinfo. Tanvir is not believed to have come into close contact with any other players or officials, and the remainder of the Tuskers team will prepare as usual. Tanvir himself had been a sort of replacement player for Tuskers, who had initially drafted Wahab Riaz and Liam Plunkett as the foreign fast bowlers in their squad, before both those players withdrew from the tournament.
Earlier, Ravinderpal was confirmed to have tested positive for Covid-19, after traveling in the same flight and bus as several other players, including Andre Russell. His illness too, is not believed to have had an impact on anyone else involved in the tournament, according to LPL organisers.
“[Ravinderpal] has been sent for treatment at another hotel in the area, which has been set up like a hospital,” said Anil Mohan, CEO of the IPG Group company, which is organising the LPL. “He is not at the same hotel as the others, and they are all in their bubble. The others will be training and preparing for the tournament as usual.”
Both Tanvir and Ravinderpal’s future in the tournament is now contingent on their recoveries, and signoffs from the medical authorities overseeing the LPL. They are each expected to be out for at least 14 days.
The news of the positive Covid-19 results is the latest in a tough week for the tournament, after Chris Gayle and Lasith Malinga also pulled out over the last few days – though neither of these withdrawals is believed to be the fault of the tournament organisers or the players’ franchises. SLC and tournament organisers insist that the LPL is inching towards its November 16 start date, undeterred.