Sunrisers Hyderabad has recruited Umran Malik, a 21-year-old medium-pacer from Jammu and Kashmir, as a “short-term Covid-19 substitute” for T Natarajan, who was kept in isolation after testing positive for the virus before the team’s game against the Delhi Capitals on September 22. Malik has been a net bowler for the Sunrisers in the UAE.

After making his debut for the state squad earlier this year, Malik has only played one T20 and one List A game on the Indian domestic circuit. The T20 game was against Railways in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where he took 3 for 24 from four overs in a seven-wicket loss for his team, and the List A game was against Bengal in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he conceded 98 runs from ten overs for one wicket as Jammu and Kashmir lost by 82 runs.

According to IPL rules, franchises are allowed to hire short-term replacement players while a regular squad member is out, therefore Malik will “only be a part of the Sunrisers side until Natarajan heals and is allowed to join the team, according to an IPL statement. When Axar Patel tested positive for Covid-19 during the first leg of the IPL in India earlier this year, bowling allrounder Shams Mulani became a short-term recruiting for the Delhi Capitals in identical circumstances.

On September 22, Natarajan was sent in isolation with six other Sunrisers players, including all rounder Vijay Shankar and net bowler G Periyaswamy, who were identified as his intimate contacts. The game between the Sunrisers and the Capitals, on the other hand, was allowed to proceed as planned. This is the second time that a Sunrisers player has tested positive for Covid-19 during the two-part IPL 2021. After returning from a positive test in May, wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha was forced to be isolated for two weeks in Delhi.