Commonwealth Games 2022: Pooja Vastrakar set to join Indian squad in Birmingham after covid recovery

After missing out on the first couple of games due to COVID-19, Pooja Vastrakar will be joining the Indian women’s cricket team ahead of its Commonwealth Games fixture against Barbados.

Vastrakar, one of the key fast bowling all-rounders, left for Birmingham on Sunday morning after testing negative and clearing the mandatory fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

Vastrakar and S. Meghana had tested positive for the virus before the team’s scheduled departure last week. While Meghana has already joined the team a couple of days ago, Pooja had to continue in quarantine as her reports had earlier returned positive.

“She has cleared the mandatory checks and is flying out to Birmingham after go ahead from the medical team,” a source in the BCCI said.

The cricketer also posted her travel pictures on Instagram the caption, “Finally…” 

Vastrakar’s presence will be a huge relief for the Indian team, which lost the first game against Australia despite a four-wicket haul by Renuka Singh Thakur. In the post-match media interaction, Renuka had rued the absence of a third fast bowler and stated that the side “missed Pooja” as it failed to keep Australia under pressure despite grabbing five early wickets.

India plays Pakistan on Sunday and will be up against Barbados next week. The team management expects Vastrakar to be available for the game against Barbados. 

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