BCCI to ‘wait and watch’ before decision on reopening stadiums

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will assess the situation and then decide on the future course of action as states have set different parameters for the lockdown.

BCCI will take a call on reopening stadiums after studying the directive state-wise.   -  FILE PHOTO/ PRASHANT NAKWE

In its new set of guidelines for the country-wide lockdown, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has permitted the opening of sports complexes and stadias in non-containment areas.

For the last couple of months, there has not been any sporting actions across the country, with the stadiums and other facilities out of bounds. So, this certainly has come as a boost for the sporting fraternity.

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However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) treasurer Arun Dhumal told Sportstar that they will assess the situation and then decide on the future course of action. “We are studying the directives. We will have to see how the state governments are going about it because some of the states have set different parameters for the lockdown. It is a state subject,” Dhumal said.

The Board’s treasurer also admitted that it will take a bit of time for the BCCI to take a call on the future. “Since state (air) travel has not been resumed, there are a lot of factors to be weighed in before we reach a conclusion,” Dhumal said.

“Whatever has to happen, we need to plan and work out the logistics. It will take some time for us to study the directive state-wise and come up with a plan,” Dhumal said.

Earlier, the Board was planning to go ahead with skill-based training for the players “once the lockdown was lifted”. There were discussions on having a ‘quarantine camp’ with the senior players, possibly at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. However, with air travel still prohibited, the Board now needs to come out with an alternative plan to ensure that the players at least get back to training.

"BCCI will study guidelines at the state level and will work in sync with State Cricket Associations to chalk out a programme for skill-based training at a local level. 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 Board's statement released on Sunday night said.

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

Most of the state associations, too, are waiting for a formal directive from the ministry before going ahead with the future plans. Their first effort, however, will be to get the grounds back in shape.

In some of the cities, the stadiums are closer to the ‘containment zones’ as well. So, the associations want to be absolutely sure about the guidelines before reopening the stadiums. “The health and safety of the players and all the stakeholders are our primary concern. There has been a new set of guidelines. But we need to go through it and seek clarification from the Board and authorities before going ahead,” Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Avishek Dalmiya said.

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