NEW DELHI — The Board of Control for Cricket in India says it will “wait further” to organize training camps for its contracted players despite the government relaxing restrictions on sporting events, allowing them to resume without fans.
The Indian Premier League – the BCCI’s marque event – was postponed last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Twenty20 tournament will only take place this year once travel restrictions are eased and the cricket board can find a suitable window for it in the schedule.
“Taking into the account the restrictions on air travel and movement of people till May 31, the BCCI will wait further before organizing a skill-based training camp for its contracted players,” cricket board treasurer Arun Dhumal said in a statement.
“The board reiterates that the safety and well-being of its athletes and support staff is paramount and will not rush into any decision that can hamper or jeopardize India’s efforts in containing the spread of the virus.”
Maharashtra and Karnataka are among several prominent states in India in complete lockdown. Cricket activities have been stopped around the country, but the BCCI wanted to try organizing training camps at local levels.
“The BCCI will study guidelines at the state level and will work in sync with state cricket associations to chalk out a program for skill-based training at a local level,” Dhumal said.
“The BCCI Office-Bearers will continue their interactions with the team management and draw up a suitable plan for the entire team once the situation further improves.”
The Indian government extended the lockdown for two weeks on May 17 but said that sports complexes and stadiums will be permitted to open without spectators.
The Ministry of Home Affairs said all large gatherings will continue to remain prohibited, as will air travel “except for domestic medical services, domestic air ambulance and for security purposes or purposes as permitted by MHA.