The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is eyeing a window for India players to get into match mode before heading into a major tournament but their safety and health is paramount, its treasurer Arun Dhumal has said.
Arun Dhumal, speaking to indiatoday.in, said it will be unfair for India players to head straightaway into a major tournament like the Indian Premier League (IPL), given the players have been ‘out of touch’ for more than 3 months.
However, Dhumal said they were left with no other choice but to not tour Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe due to the Covid-19 situation and the travel restrictions in the country. India were scheduled to play 3 ODis and as many T20Is in Sri Lanka from June 24 and 3 ODIs in Zimbabwe from August 22 but the BCCI confirmed India won’t be taking part in the series.
While the likes of West Indies, England and Pakistan looking set to resume international cricket in June-July, India will have to wait and watch before taking a call on the resumption of their calendar.
Even as the BCCI is keen on hosting the IPL in 2020, which was suspended until further notice, in September-October, Dhumal said the governing body will try and help the players ‘get a hang of the game’ before a major tournament.
“With regards to Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, the Sri Lanka series was supposed to start on June 24. But with the restrictions on international travel and considering the safety of people, we had to tell them it’s not going to be possible for us to come to Sri Lanka,” Dhumal said.
“There are certain government restrictions that we have to follow. We also feel lit won’t be safe for our players to play at this point in time. There will be nothing that would take place at the cost of the health and safety of our players. That is paramount. Once we are assured of safety, then we can think of resuming cricket.
“The boys have been out of touch. We can’t straight away go for a tournament. There should be some tournament before that. We will work on all those options. In case, the IPL has to take place, there has to be some window made available so that the boys can get a hang of the game.
“They have not held the bat for so many months. It won’t be easy and fair for them to straightaway go for a big tournament as IPL.”
BCCI in no hurry to organise training camp for contracted players
Arun Dhumal, speaking to this website, had urged the International Cricket Council to take a quick call on the T20 World Cup so that cricket boards across the globe can plan accordingly. The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held from October 18 to November 15 in Australia but the ICC has deferred a final call on the fate of the tournament to July in the wake of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Dhumal also said BCCI will organise a training camp for India cricketers only if it can assure the health and safety of its players. Professional trainers have been working with the contracted players on physical and mental health throughout the lockdown period, the treasurer said.
“With restrictions on travel and until and unless we are sure of travel guidelines and safety at wherever we organise the camp, we can’t plan. All these things will be taken to be taken into account before organizing a camp where all cricketers will come and train.
“Our professional staff and coaching staff are regularly in touch with the boys to keep them mentally and physically fit. During the lockdown also, the professional staff were in touch with all the players and taking care of it,” Dhumal said.