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Sports News

Virus outbreak increases vigilance around IPL - Williamson

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand cricket captain Kane Williamson says an outbreak of COVID-19 in an Indian Premier League (IPL) team has raised some apprehension about the coming tournament and reminded him of the need be vigilant about his health and surroundings.

Cricket - New Zealand v India - First Test - Basin Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand - February 21, 2020 New Zealand's Kane Williamson during the warm up REUTERS/Martin Hunter/Files

Williamson is due to leave on Thursday to link up with the Hyderabad Sunrisers in the United Arab Emirates, which is hosting the tournament this year due to the growing number of infections in India.

The IPL said last Saturday that 13 members of the Chennai Super Kings, including two players, had tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in the UAE and had been placed into isolation.

“Obviously that’s bad news,” Williamson told Radio New Zealand on Wednesday. “You don’t want to hear anybody (has) COVID.

“I hear they are predominantly asymptomatic, so hopefully through another lockdown period, they can come through and we’ll be okay.

“There’s a little bit of apprehension, certainly as you get nearer to the time ... you start thinking you do have to be extremely vigilant and disciplined.”

Williamson added that he was pleased all of the teams in the IPL would be placed in separate hotels.

Players have also been warned about breaching their bio-security bubble during the tournament, that starts on Sept. 19.

Williamson is among six New Zealand cricketers scheduled to play in this year’s IPL, while another eight are in Trinidad for the Caribbean Premier League.

New Zealand’s men’s team have not played since March when their limited overs series in Australia was abruptly postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

They are still expecting to host the West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh this summer.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; editing by Richard Pullin

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