Delayed Covid-19 test results rule Rabada, Nortje out of Thursday’s fixture

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The South African bowlers have been in quarantine since reaching India last week

Delay in getting the results of their Covid-19 tests has ruled out the South African bowling pair of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje from Delhi Capitals’ Thursday clash with the Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai. Both players remain in hotel quarantine at the moment.

Both Rabada and Nortje checked into Capitals’ team hotel in Mumbai on April 6, having flown commercial flight on business class from South Africa immediately after the second ODI of the home series against Pakistan. Their pair’s quarantine period, a week long as per IPL guidelines, was meant to end on April 13, but for now they are still confined to their rooms.

One reason behind delay in getting test results is understood to be because of the fresh lockdown imposed by the Maharashtra government this week which has affected logistics.

The latest update will have come as a significant blow for the Capitals, who would in all likelihood have wanted to field both Nortje and Rabada in their XI against the Royals. Along with Rabada and Nortje, David Miller, who represents the Royals, was on the same flight. The Royals confirmed on Wednesday Miller was available for selection.

Rabada was the highest wicket-taker in the IPL last year, with 30 wickets in 17 games. And although he has played only one season of the IPL – in 2020 – Nortje became a key member of the Capitals line-up after picking up 22 wickets in 16 matches, the fourth-highest in the tournament. His express pace gave a cutting edge to their bowling attack and his partnership with Rabada was one of the biggest reasons they were able to make the final of the IPL for the first time.

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo

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