COVID-19 a concern at Hazlewood's IPL team

Josh Hazlewood, who is set to play in the Indian Premier League after touring England, says COVID-19 cases in his team's biosecurity bubble are a concern.

JOSH HAZLEWOOD of Australia celebrates after taking a wicket during the Fourth Test match in the series between Australia and India at SCG in Sydney, Australia.
JOSH HAZLEWOOD of Australia celebrates after taking a wicket during the Fourth Test match in the series between Australia and India at SCG in Sydney, Australia. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Josh Hazlewood is concerned about a COVID-19 scare at his Indian Premier League franchise, which has been forced to extend its pre-tournament quarantine period.

Hazlewood is set to fly to Dubai and link with Shane Watson at the Chennai Super Kings after Australia's current UK tour.

The entire Twenty20 event is being held in the UAE because India has reported 3.5 million coronavirus cases, a number that is growing faster than any other nation.

Some 13 individuals in the IPL's biosecurity bubble have tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in the UAE, including two players.

Indian media say the source of every case is the Super Kings, whose vice-captain Suresh Raina has returned home and pulled out of the tournament.

"We have a group WhatsApp with all the information that comes through. It's a little bit of a concern," Hazlewood told reporters.

"You'd ideally have no cases. They're obviously in quarantine now and I think that finishes up in the next few days.

"It's a few weeks away before we get there ... if cases are still happening closer to the date then we'll touch base with Cricket Australia and have a chat."

IPL protocols stipulate that players spend six days in hotel-room lockdown upon arriving in the UAE.

The positive tests mean that Watson and teammates are currently spending a further week in isolation before the 13th edition of the IPL, which is scheduled to start on September 19.

"It's been interesting," Watson said in a video on his Instagram account.

"It is a situation that has made everyone realise how integral and important it is for everyone to stick by the BCCI and IPL biosecurity protocols.

"To make sure that something like this is just a little hiccup to start things off."

Hazlewood noted his full attention is on Australia's limited-overs tour of England, which starts with a Twenty20 on Saturday morning (AEST).

The paceman blew out the cobwebs while bowling seven overs in a recent intra-squad clash.

Hazlewood joked that making his own bed was the biggest change to life on tour in the COVID-19 era, adding that England had done a terrific job with arrangements.

"Cricket Australia will definitely look at it and follow suit (in the home summer), no doubt," he said.