IPL 2021: Delhi Capitals spinner Axar Patel tests positive for coronavirus

Organisers keeping a close eye on worsening situation in Mumbai

Axar Patel of Delhi Capitals during match 47 of season 13 of the Dream 11 Indian Premier League (IPL) between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Delhi Capitals held at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on the 27th October 2020.  Photo by: Ron Gaunt  / Sportzpics for BCCI

Delhi Capitals spinner Axar Patel has tested positive for coronavirus and been put into isolation, his team said on Saturday as the Indian Premier League battles new pandemic fears days ahead of its start.

IPL organisers are nervously watching a surge in coronavirus cases across India as 10 ground staff at the stadium where Patel's team play their first match on April 10 have also tested positive, reports said.

Patel, who took four five-wicket hauls in the Test series against England last month, was found to have the coronavirus after joining his Delhi Capitals side as they prepare for the new IPL tournament.

He checked into the team hotel in Mumbai on March 28 "with a negative report," the Capitals said in a statement.

"His report from the second COVID test, came positive. He is currently in isolation at a designated medical care facility," the team added.

All eight teams, with the main cricket stars from around the world, have been put into secure bio-bubbles ahead of the start of the tournament with a clash between reigning champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai on Friday.

The Capitals play their first game on Saturday against Chennai Super Kings at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium where 10 staff are reported to have tested positive.

Maharashtra state, which includes Mumbai, has become the epicentre of the new pandemic wave. The number of new cases across India has reached nearly 90,000 a day – having doubled in less than two weeks.

Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar went into hospital in Mumbai on Friday after announcing that he had the coronavirus.