After testing negative for COVID-19 in Colombo, Indian cricketers Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Krishnappa Gowtham have returned home. They got tested positive during the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, which ended with the third T20I on July 29, the trio had to remain back for nine days.

While Pandya and Chahal continued their journey to Mumbai, Gowtham arrived in Bengaluru and spent a few hours in an isolation facility on the airport grounds before his RT-PCR test results came back negative.

Due to the lack of direct commercial flights between India and Sri Lanka as a result of the pandemic, the three were forced to take a circuitous journey back to India through the Maldives. After a stopover in Kochi, they flew to Male, the capital of the Maldives, before continuing on to their separate destinations in India.

Pandya became the first to get the illness on July 27, a day after the first T20I. India excluded eight players they recognised as his close associates as a precautionary measure. The second T20I had to be postponed by a day as a result of this.

Two days later, Chahal and Gowtham, who were within this circle of close contacts and had first tested negative, returned positive tests. With so many players isolated, India was compelled to call up their five reserve bowlers and give T20I debuts to Chetan Sakariya, Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana, and Ruturaj Gaikwad in the second T20I and Sandeep Warrier in the final T20I.

Pandya, Chahal, and Gowtham are all set to reunite with their respective IPL sides in the third week of August for short camps before departing for the UAE for the second half of the postponed 2021 edition of the IPL.