Veda tested negative after visiting her family a few weeks ago; has not been able to visit them since then
India Women batter Veda Krishnamurthy, whose mother died of Covid-19 on April 23, has been bereaved a second time in a fortnight with her elder sister succumbing to complications caused by the virus on Wednesday.
Krishnamurthy’s sister, Vatsala Shivakumar, who was admitted in a hospital in Chikmagalur, around 245 kilometres from Bengaluru, is understood to have shown decided signs of improvement earlier this week, but she breathed her last around 5.45pm on Wednesday.
It is learnt that Vatsala, 42, had suffered severe lung infection as a result of Covid-19-induced pneumonia and was put on a ventilator the same day her mother, Cheluvamaba Devi, 67, died in Kadur, around 40 kilometres from Chikmagalur.
“With the help of the hospital staff, Veda’s sister had even begun FaceTiming with Veda and some of her other near and dear ones earlier this week. It is shocking to learn that after losing aunty, we couldn’t save didi either. I can only request everyone to give Veda and her family the time and privacy they need to bear this immense loss,” Reema Malhotra, the former India cricketer, told ESPNcricinfo on Thursday. Malhotra has been close to Krishnamurthy’s family for a long time. Both Malhotra and Krishnamurthy are employed with the Western Railways and represented the Railways side on the domestic circuit for several seasons.
It is with great sadness that last night my family had to say goodbye to My Akka My family, my world has been rocked to its core. Appreciate all the messages and prayers . My thoughts with everyone going through these devastating times. Hold your loved ones tight and stay safe
— Veda Krishnamurthy (@vedakmurthy08) May 6, 2021
According to Malhotra, several other members of Krishnamurthy’s family, including her father, brother and her second sister, who live in Kadur, began showing Covid-19 symptoms last month and later tested positive for the virus. Krishnamurthy, 28, had visited her family a few weeks ago and returned to Bengaluru by the time the first symptoms of infection among her family appeared. She had gone into self-isolation upon returning to the city and returned a negative test. She has not been able to visit her family in Kadur since.
A day after her mother’s passing, Krishnamurthy had put out a tweet about her family, and her negative test. Several cricketers and coaches, including former Pakistan captain Sana Mir, Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu, former India bowler Snehal Pradhan, and former India head coach Ramesh Powar, had offered condolences.
India is currently grappling with a devastating second wave of Covid-19, with families of several other cricketers like MS Dhoni and R Ashwin also having tested positive for the virus. Sachin Tendulkar, S Badrinath, Yusuf Pathan and Harmanpreet Kaur are among the group of players who have contracted the virus in the past two months and recovered since.
Krishnamurthy has played 48 ODIs and 76 T20Is for India. Her most recent appearance in competitive cricket came during the inter-state Women’s Senior One Day Trophy quarter-finals in March in Rajkot, where she represented Karnataka.
Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha
Bangladesh unhappy as Australia’s Covid-19 demands force Mushfiqur Rahim to miss home T20Is
According to the terms agreed to between the two boards, the senior batter can’t enter the Dhaka bio-bubble now
“It is unfair what happened with Mushfiq,” a member of Bangladesh’s tour party to Zimbabwe, told ESPNcricinfo. “We came in a commercial flight passing through three airports so I don’t know if it makes much sense to keep Mushfiq out of the series. He went back home from the middle of a tour for a family problem. So to not allow him to enter the quarantine after just two or three days, is not right.”
The BCB says it did ask CA to reconsider the stance on Rahim, but to no avail.
“The agreement between CA and BCB says that there is no chance for allowing anyone from outside into the bio-bubble,” a BCB official said. “We have to hold the series with only those inside the bio-bubble. There will be challenges but this is the new normal. I think the selectors have picked the players who are best available during this scenario. There are no alternatives but to take our best available options.”
The quarantine rules could also have an impact on the use of DRS during the series. DRS technicians sit in the same room generally with match officials but the latter have been in a ten-day quarantine period and anyone coming in from the outside – such as a DRS technician – will not be able to sit in the same room according to protocols.
“We have fulfilled the requirements for the production team. We are ready,” a BCB official said. “If the technician can work from a remote location, we will have DRS. There still remain some challenges but the technical person still has time (to be involved in the series).
“He has to comply with a three-day quarantine (according to local health directorate), but CA has a condition that whoever isn’t part of the ten-day quarantine, they can’t get into close contact with anyone who was in the quarantine. If this person can manage to do the work remotely, then we can have DRS in the playing conditions.”
The issues highlight the challenges the BCB faced for this series, in setting up two separate quarantines for match officials, hotel staff, and logistics, liaison and ground staff; the BCB has also made sure that the Australians can go to the team hotel from the airport tarmac directly. Their immigration will be processed separately, and their passports returned only after being sanitised for three days. The hotel will also be off-limits to anyone but the touring party till August 10.
The BCB had earlier agreed to hold all the five matches at the Shere Bangla National Stadium instead of at two venues.
“It is not just about CA giving us conditions and us accepting those conditions,” a board official said. “The Australia team is traveling here on a chartered flight from West Indies. It shows how serious they are about the health and welfare of players. We are only fulfilling some of their additional requirements.”
Despite all that, concern will remain. Bangladesh is currently experiencing a fresh Covid-19 wave, and the country has been in a strict lockdown. There were 258 deaths and 14,925 new cases the day before Australia’s arrival in Dhaka on Thursday. Pulling off the series without incident will be important for the BCB’s home season ahead, given New Zealand are expected to arrive in early September to play five T20Is before England travel for three T20Is and the same number of ODIs.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
SL vs IND, 2nd T20I, 2021
He trusted his lower-order team-mates to play big shots if he took the game deep
Not known for his hitting capability, the match situation was perhaps made for de Silva, who struck only two boundaries – a six and a four – and focused instead on running singles and twos. With a severely depleted India making only 132, Sri Lanka did not require huge fireworks with the bat to chase it down.
“This is what I’m meant to do for the team,” de Silva said after the match. “In the previous match as well, what I’d been told was to bat 20 overs from one side. I wasn’t able to do that in the previous game. Today was my day and I did that. If I can bat at a run-a-ball until the final overs, letting others attack around me, I can raise my strike rate towards the finish as well. That was the coach, captain and selectors’ plan.”
de Silva said the surface for this match was the slowest of the tour. It took a significant turn right through the game, with spinners picking up seven of the 11 wickets to fall. Only three sixes were struck in the entire match.
“We knew it was a slow pitch, so our target while bowling was to restrict them to 125 or 130,” he said. “Our bowlers did well and we were able to manage that. When it came to our innings, we knew that it would be tough to bat as well, but if we dragged the game out to the 20th over, the equation becomes simple and we know what we have to do. I think even a T20 match, that’s the way to do it.”
“We know that in the last four or five batters we have a few that can hit a six. Chamika, Wanindu Hasaranga, Isuru Udana and even Dushmantha Chameera can hit a big shot. What I’d wanted to do was to take the game deep, thinking that Wanindu or Chamika would be there with me to finish it off. Thankfully, Chamika was there at the end.”
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf
The Hundred – Jofra Archer not expected to link up with Southern Brave this week
Team hopeful of having the pacer for the last four games as he continues a gradual comeback from elbow surgery
Archer has played twice for Sussex in the last 10 days, first bowling three overs in their Vitality Blast win against Kent and a further six against Oxfordshire in a 50-over warm-up match last Tuesday, but has not linked up with the Southern Brave squad since the start of the Hundred and is not expected to do so this week.
“It’s one of those where I’m staying out of it and leaving it to the experts in that area. Hopefully we do get him because it would be a big boost for us, but if we don’t, we’ve got guys who are capable here.”
An ECB spokesperson said that a further update on Archer’s fitness was expected next week but did not confirm whether he had been given a pain-killing injection in the last two days. Archer underwent elbow surgery in May following an aborted comeback from the injury at the start of the English summer.
The Brave were the pre-tournament favourites for the men’s competition but have lost both of their first two games and are already in danger of missing out on the knockout stages, with only the top three teams progressing. Mahela Jayawardene, their head coach, has regularly recovered from sluggish starts while coaching Mumbai Indians in the IPL, and Vince suggested that his recent experience with Hampshire – who squeezed into the Blast’s quarter-finals in the final round of group games – meant he was not panicking yet.
“I’m sure we’ll realise that we need to start winning soon but I’ve just been part of a Hampshire side in the Blast that got off to a bit of a slow start and then managed to play some great cricket towards the back end and get some momentum going,” he said. “I think this format will be very similar.
“We’re aware we need to improve in a few areas but we were much better [on Tuesday] and had our chance to win the game. The next three or four games coming up will be important to make sure we’re there or thereabouts come the last few.”
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98
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