HCA apex council unlikely to make any big decision at August 13 meeting

The agenda listed for the meeting includes a discussion on the development of cricket, the affiliation of district cricket associations and the passing of the statement of accounts.

HCA president Mohammad Azharuddin is reportedly not really keen on initiating any measures in haste.   -  FILE PHOTO/ V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

The Hyderabad Cricket Association’s (HCA) apex council will meet at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on August 13, but is unlikely to make any critical decision regarding the resumption of cricketing activity as HCA president Mohammad Azharuddin is said to not be really keen on initiating any measures in haste.

“Given the threat perception from the pandemic, the players’ safety is top priority. Only if one is assured of complete safety can we move forward,” Azharuddin reportedly told members of the apex council.

The agenda listed for the meeting includes a discussion on the development of cricket, the affiliation of district cricket associations, the passing of the statement of accounts and any other item with the permission of the chair.

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Normally, by this time of the year, the HCA leagues – said to feature the highest number of matches by any state association in the country – would have commenced, and even the senior zonals would have been halfway through before the state teams for the all-India invitational tournaments were selected based on performances in these events.

Though the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has issued a standard operating procedure for all the state cricket associations to resume action, what is holding back the top brass of the HCA is the time-consuming process of ensuring a foolproof “bio-bubble” to avoid any major embarrassment such as a player or staff member testing positive for COVID-19.

“We have appointed a chief medical officer, Dr Vikas Reddy, who along with the other medical staff will be responsible for implementing the guidelines for the entire duration of the camps as well as the matches. However, there is a lot of logistics involved in it,” says HCA secretary R. Vijayanand.

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“The important task for the medical team is to acquire the travel and medical history of the past two weeks of all the players and staff through an online questionnaire and then accordingly take remedial measures,” he added.

Vijayanand also said that the recently appointed district development officers will resume work after the lockdown even as the HCA remains very cautious about resuming cricketing activity.

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