IPL 2020: Josh Hazlewood “concerned” with CSK’s COVID-19 outbreak

Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood on Monday admitted that he is “concerned” about the COVID-19 outbreak in his IPL side Chennai Super Kings, but said he is currently focussing on the limited overs tour of England.

The IPL, which is beginning in the UAE on September 19, has reported 13 COVID-19 positive cases from the CSK contingent, including two players.

“We have a group WhatsApp with all the information that comes through, it’s obviously a little bit of a concern,” Hazlewood, who is here for national duty, told reporters.

Those who have tested positive have been isolated in a separate hotel.

According to the BCCI’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), all those who test positive are mandated to go through an additional 14-day quarantine. They can enter the bio-secure bubble only after returning negative in tests to be conducted after the extended isolation.

“Ideally you’d have no cases, they are in quarantine now and I think that finishes up in next few days. All my focus is on this tour at the moment and when the IPL comes closer we’ll think about that,” Hazlewood said.

Hazlewood is part of the Australian squad that has travelled to England for the white-ball tour. The two sides will play three T20Is in Southampton and as many ODIs in Manchester between September 4-16.

The 29-year-old, who along with the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith, Pat Cummins and Aaron Finch is scheduled to travel to the UAE after the tour of England, said there will be discussions with the Cricket Australia (CA) if the number of positive cases in the IPL increases.

“We haven’t spoken too much about it yet, it’s a few weeks away until we get there. I assume those things will come up if cases are still happening closer to the date, then we’ll touch base with Cricket Australia (CA) and have a chat.”

CA has been extra cautious in it’s approach to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. The board has restricted its players from using sweat from the head, face and neck to shine the ball during the tour of England to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.