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The Indian Premier League (IPL) was forced into its first coronavirus postponement this season on Monday after two players tested positive despite the tournament’s bio-secure “bubble”.

The Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) match
against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) was called off just
hours before its start in Ahmedabad after Varun Chakaravarthy and Sandeep
Warrier became infected.

The positive cases come as India’s massive
coronavirus surge raises questions about the IPL and concerns over the
country’s hosting of the Twenty20 World Cup in October and November.

Chakaravarthy and Warrier “have
isolated themselves from the rest of the squad” after testing positive, an
IPL statement said. “All other team members have tested negative for
Covid-19,” it added.

The league set up bio-secure bubbles around
the eight teams before the tournament as a devastating wave of cases swept
across India.

The country is recording about 360,000
cases and 3,500 deaths a day and has been hit by chronic shortages of hospital
beds and oxygen.

The IPL said its doctors were in
“continuous touch” with Chakaravarthy, a 29-year-old spinner, and
30-year-old fast bowler Warrier, and were monitoring their health.

Abdul Gh Lone