New Delhi: Just days before Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) opening match against defending champions Mumbai Indians in the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), opening batsman Devdutt Padikkal has tested positive for COVID-19.
“Royal Challengers Bangalore, Left-handed Batsman Devdutt Padikkal had tested positive on 22nd March 2021. He has been in mandatory quarantine at his residence in Bengaluru since then. He will be fit to join the RCB bio-bubble once his RT-PCR tests are negative,” RCB said in a statement.
“RCB Medical team is in touch with Devdutt ensuring his safety and well-being. Devdutt is feeling well and we can’t wait to have him join the squad for the IPL season ahead,” it added.
RCB Medical team is in touch with Devdutt ensuring his safety and well-being. He is feeling well and we can’t wait to have him join the squad for #IPL2021
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) April 4, 2021
This comes as a huge blow for Virat Kohli’s side as they have time and again emphasised on the fact how much Padikkal has become to the Bangalore franchise’s playing 11 after young Karnataka batsman’s dazzling performances in IPL 2020.
This is also the third case of a vital player testing positive for the novel virus. Before Devdutt, Delhi Capitals (DC) on Saturday had confirmed all-rounder Axar Patel tested positive for coronavirus. Right after, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batsman Nitish Rana also tested positive for COVID-19.
Last year fourth-place finishers RCB will start their campaign against defending champions Mumbai Indians in Chennai on April 9 and will play their final group stage match against Chennai Super Kings on May 23.
After playing the opening three games in Chennai Virat Kohli’s men will travel to Mumbai for their next two matches. Post this they will play four matches at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad and will camp in Kolkata for their final five group stage matches.