Indian Players Must Return Negative Covid-19 Test Before Entering Chennai Bio Bubble

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has asked the Indian cricket team members to get a Covid-19 test done before they check into the team hotel in Chennai ahead of the first Test of the four-match series against England. The instruction has been sent out from team doctor Abhiji Salvi, who had told the players that they should start their life in a new bio-bubble only after their test returns a negative result. The players have now been given time till the morning of January 27 (Wednesday) to get the test done and show their negative results.

"We have been told to be in the hotel by 26th night or 27th morning," a Team India member told Cricbuzz about the the Covid-19 instructions from the BCCI.

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This latest instruction comes after the players were told to return back home and undergo a period of home quarantine for as long as they were going to remain in the house.

Meanwhile the call was taken to not allow crowds into the stadium for the first two Test matches, both of which are set to take place at Chennai.

The decision was taken on the request of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and as a result, no one aside from the players and members of the coaching and support staff will be allowed in to the ground during either the match days or in practice.

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"That is what we have been told. No one should enter the ground during match or practice. Even I cannot be inside the ground," S Ramaswamy, the secretary of the hosts Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

England have just concluded a two-match Test series in Sri Lanka, which they won 2-0. The squad that played in the island nation was not a full strength one but the visitors will bring a much stronger line-up - including Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer - to India.

The hosts, meanwhile, concluded a tour of Australia with a thrilling 2-1 Test series win that saw them notch up their first ever win at The Gabba in Brisbane with a makeshift side that was ravaged by injuries.

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England will play a five match Test series starting February 5. This will be followed by a five match T20 Series and a three-match ODI series. The first Test begins in Chennai.