Friday, December 8, 2023

‘BCCI can’t do anything without government approvals’ – India’s 2021-21 cricket schedule hangs in balance


New Delhi, July 14: With international cricket opening up, all eyes are on India as to when cricketing action will kick-start in the country. While the situation in the country is still grim with COVID-19 cases rising every day, fans are hopeful that live-action will commence soon. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) hands are tied as they can’t finalise any decision relating to the resumption of cricket in India without the approval of the central government and respective state governments.
The BCCI is keen to start cricket action, at least practice sessions, by the next month or so but would require approvals from central and state governments. And the Indian board is still expecting a topsy-turvy season with a lot of tweaks given the quarantine rules and other health guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Please remember, without the central government and respective state government approvals, the BCCI cannot do anything,” TOI quoted a source as saying in a report.
Changes in proposed schedule likely
“The present (interim) schedule for Australia tour was released by Cricket Australia (CA) with the first Test to begin on December 3. Also, to note is a three-match T20 series that was scheduled ahead of the Tests, to be followed by a three-match ODI series,” added the source.
Cricket Australia (CA) had earlier announced the schedule of India’s tour. However, with the T20 World Cup set to be postponed, there could be quite a few changes in the schedule of India’s tour of Australia The start of the Test series could very well be pushed by a week.
“One of those two – either T20s or ODIs – will have to be cancelled. Most likely the T20s because the format was put in place keeping the T20 World Cup in Australia in mind. Now, that’ not happening, and IPL is. The start of the Test series will also be pushed by a week,” say those in the know.
The BCCI president Sourav Ganguly sounded confident about India’s tour of Australia but asked for a ‘shorter quarantine’ window in order to allow players to train soon after reaching the country. However, CA is yet to respond to the request.
Forthcoming England’s tour of India where both the countries were scheduled to play five Tests could be reduced to three followed by T20Is and ODIs.
“The president talked about a shortened quarantine. What he may have meant was that players will go through two separate Corona tests before leaving for Australia and two tests after landing there and if all are negative, health authorities are indicating that two weeks of lockdown won’t be necessarily mandatory. Teams can start practice,” say sources.
“Changes will be made to that schedule too. England are likely to play three Tests in India instead of five, followed by five T20s and five ODIs. That will also help compensate the host broadcaster who lost the India-South Africa series in March due to Covid,” sources added.
Meanwhile, the fate of the ICC T20 World Cup is set to be announced on July 15. (Courtesy: wion)