Roadmap in place as BCCI prepares for training after lockdown

The BCCI is looking at various options to facilitate outdoor training for cricketers if the lockdown restrictions are relaxed from May 18.

Fun times: Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Shastri and other players during a training session in Indore.   -  R.V. Moorthy

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is working on an extensive plan to ensure its players return to training as and when the country-wide lockdown ends.

With India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, indicating that the fourth phase of the lockdown -- which is likely to begin from May 18 -- will be different from the previous ones, chances are high that there will be some relaxations.

And the BCCI is exploring various options as to how to keep the players fit and ready. If the restrictions are relaxed after May 18, the senior team players could be encouraged to start their ‘skill-based’ outdoor training.

“For now, we have a roadmap in place for the players. We will work out a plan for the future depending on what the relaxations are. The coaches and the support staff are in touch with the players. Given what are the norms, we will figure out about how to go ahead,” BCCI treasurer, Arun Dhumal, told Sportstar.

“The coaching staff is now working with the players on how to keep them physically and mentally fit. Post lockdown, whatever possible, we will focus on the skill-based training,” Dhumal said.

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So, in that case, where would the players train?

“It depends on the norm. In case (limited) travel is allowed, then we will find a suitable way and see if all of them can get together. If not, then wherever possible, we will figure out some ways,” Dhumal said.

If things pan out according to plans, there is a possibility that some of the players will be allowed to start net sessions with limited facilities, possibly at 'isolation' camps in safe zones. The ideal choice would be the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru -- which has all the facilities. But it all depends on the government guidelines. “The health and safety of the players and all the concerned people are of prime importance. We will see what the government suggests after May 18 and then decide accordingly,” Dhumal said.

READ: Broadcasters, groundsmen among hardest-hit by cricket shutdown

For now, the coaches -- Ravi Shastri, Vikram Rathour, Bharat Arun, R Sridhar and Nick Webb -- are constantly monitoring the players through online platforms.

Recently, the Hockey India asked all its players to download the Arogya Setu App, before they could resume training. And the BCCI officials agree that if there is some specific guidelines, they will abide by it.

'No instability'

The BCCI is also grappling with issues on the administrative. In the recent past, two of its top recruits -- CEO Rahul Johri and CFO Santosh Rangnekar -- have resigned, and both the positions are currently vacant. Even BCCI vice-president Mahim Verma had resigned last month. However, Dhumal stated that it won't affect the functioning of the Board, and also stated that there is 'no instability'.

The Board is yet to appoint the members for the women’s nation selection panel and also the junior selection panel. However, Dhumal indicated that the process could begin once things normalise.

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