Rahul Dravid on bio-secure venues: It's a bit unrealistic

Dravid said that isolation of players, team officials and other concerned stakeholders for close to a month will become very difficult to carry out. 

Rahul Dravid said the resumption of sporting action would see players taking up a little time to get the hang of things.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

Former India skipper Rahul Dravid reckons the concept of resumption of sports in a bio-secure environment, as being discussed by multiple cricket governing bodies presently, amid the coronavirus crisis is "a bit unrealistic" in the long run.

While the BCCI is willing to wait before announcing a restart, the ECB, according to reports, will be asking its players to assemble at the Ageas Bowl on June 23 and to stay away from their families for nine weeks until the end of the third Test against Pakistan. The series is scheduled to start from August 20.

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Meanwhile, Cricket South Africa has also announced its eagerness on trying out the bio-bubble scheme if India decides to tour in August.

In a webinar conducted in support of YUVA, a non-profit organisation's relief and recovery efforts amid the pandemic, Dravid said that isolation of players, team officials and other concerned stakeholders for close to a month will become very difficult to carry out. 

"It is a bit unrealistic to have things at the level the ECB is talking about. Obviously, the ECB is very keen to conduct these series because they have had no other cricket and it is right in the middle of the season. Even if they are potentially able to create a bubble and manage it in that way, I think it will be impossible for everyone to do it with the kind of calendar that we have, with the travelling that you do on tours and the number of people involved," Dravid said.

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"All of us are hoping that things will evolve with time and get better once we have better medication. In case of the bio-bubble, you do all the testing, the quarantine and then on day two of the Test match, what if one player tests positive? What happens then? The rules, as they stand now, will see the Public Health Department coming in and putting everyone in quarantine. 

"So that ends the Test match or the series and that ends all the expenses that were made to get everyone there and create that environment. We're going to have to work with the Health Department and Government authorities to find out a way in which even if a player tests positive, the whole tournament isn't cancelled," Dravid who heads the National Cricket Academy added. 

- 'Players will miss fans' -

The legendary cricketer feels that although the absence of spectators in stadiums would be disappointing, it won't affect the performance of individuals to a larger extent. 

"At a professional level, players will adjust and not let it affect their performances much. A professional, once he or she gets on to the field, has a lot of pride in oneself. So they will find a way to deal with that. But the experience at the end of the day is not going to be the same.

"Players love to perform in front of a crowd, engage with their fans and that adds incredible complexity to a sport. I think that's what a player will definitely miss. There is a personal self-satisfaction when you perform in front of a large crowd."

Resumption of sporting action, says the cricketing great, would see players taking up a little time to get the hang of things.

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Dravid, who amassed 13,288 runs in 164 Test matches, said, "We find ourselves in a situation where a lot of things are beyond our control. However, as responsible citizens, we can control our attitude and follow the government guidelines of wearing a mask, social distancing and so on. 

"As a sportsman, we are used to dealing with a lot of uncertainty during our careers. Everything doesn't fall into place. You tend to get scared and worried about stuff but I think one of the things that I would have done is think about things I can control. 

"All you can control is your preparation, practice, emotional and mental well-being. You cannot control your results or performances. Coming back after this for active players... maybe it would take a bit of time to catch up to their original skill level. But that won't take long. It is just like riding a bicycle."

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