IPL 2021: Sunrisers Hyderabad ropes in J&K pacer Umran Malik to replace Covid-infected T Natarajan

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) has named 21-year-old Jammu and Kashmir pacer Umran Malik as T Natarajan’s replacement in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Natarajan had tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of SRH’s game against Delhi Capitals (DC) on Wednesday. He was asymptotic and is currently in self-isolation.

“Umran Malik, a fast bowler from Jammu & Kashmir, who was with the #Risers as a net bowler, has been added to the squad as a short-term COVID replacement for T Natarajan,” SRH tweeted.

IPL said under Regulation 6.1 (c), franchisees are allowed to sign a short-term replacement player until the original squad member is permitted to re-enter the team’s bio-secure environment. “Hence, Malik will only be a part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad side until Natarajan recovers and is allowed to join the team,” IPL said in an official release.

Malik made his competitive debut earlier this year. He has picked a total of four wickets, having played one T20 and List A match for Jammu Kashmir.

On Wednesday, after Natarajan returned with a positive result, the medical team identified as many as six close contacts of the player, who were also placed in isolation. They include Vijay Shankar, Vijay Kumar – Team Manager, Shyam Sundar J – Physiotherapist, Anjana Vannan – Doctor, Tushar Khedkar – Logistics Manager, and Periyasamy Ganesan – Net Bowler.

Despite Natarajan’s covid positive result, SRH’s fixture against DC went ahead on Wednesday in Dubai. Kane Williamson-led SRH were restricted at 134 for 9 in 20 overs before Delhi chased it down with 2.1 overs and eight wickets to spare.


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