TOI has learnt that the board is looking for a place that could be outside the defined containment zones to have its senior players, team management and other staff to get started with the training after a gap of over two months.
The National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru has all the facilities for training but there are still cases of Covid-19 coming up in the city. The idea is to have a set of players, coaching staff and people — including catering, security and housekeeping—in a quarantined and sanitized atmosphere. BCCI is also working on the idea of other alternative venues which will be deemed ‘safe’ by the central government.
“The safety of the players is the board’s priority. We will have to work on the logistics and see if Bengaluru is safe enough. If things don’t look absolutely fine, then we will look for areas in the country which fall outside the containment zones. The camp will be sanitized. And there is also an option of opening up local stadiums to senior players,” a BCCI official told TOI. “The players, team management and the cricket operations team are constantly in touch to deal with every issue,” the official added.
TOI understands that everyone picked for the camp — from players to general staff — will have to clear health prerequisites and will not move out of the camp premises. The players are mentally ready to be in isolation and quarantine. By the looks of things, it will be difficult to get the camp going in the near future. It might take more than a month and will depend on the relaxations given by the government after May 18.
“There are a lot of logistical issues. BCCI needs government directions and will adhere to it. The flight schedule and freedom of movement will have to be taken into account. The medical team is also in the loop,” the official said.
Given the circumstances, India’s impending tour of Sri Lanka in late June looks highly unlikely. The players would need at least a month and a half to get back into their grooves for an international tournament. The focus right now is clearly on the ICC T20 World Cup or a curtailed IPL, if possible.