Coronavirus: MRF Pace Foundation to hold meeting in June

With COVID-19 cases on a rise in Chennai, there is still no clarity when the iconic pace academy can resume operations.

The month leading up to the Indian Premier League is usually a busy one at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai. Besides regular training, the fast bowlers also fine-tune their T20 line-and-length skills. But on March 20, the iconic academy shut shop due to the coronavirus outbreak.

On May 18, however, as the Sports Ministry declared that training can resume in sports complexes and stadiums, albeit with strict restrictions and guidelines, the pace foundation has decided to hold a meeting in June and plan a reboot.

“Even I have to be convinced as to when can I start. At this moment, it is too early to say anything. The flights [operations] are not clear and the parents need to send their kids too. The virus is a life and death matter. We have to have a meeting with the management. It is likely to be held in early June,” M. Senthilnathan, chief coach of the pace foundation, told Sportstar on Monday.

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Tamil Nadu has reported more than 17,000 COVID+ cases, and that's the primary concern of Senthilnathan.

“One more month of delay will not hamper training. We are in no hurry. Safety of the players is more important. We also have to understand the government's stand after May 31. We will be under pressure if one of our boys gets the virus. We are a private association and we have to be double cautious. We like to be safer," he said.

If the pandemic is brought under control, the Pace Foundation may look to resume in July. But, Glenn McGrath, the director, may not be available this year as the international travel restriction is likely to last longer.

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