As India continues to battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday announced that the Indian Cricket Team will not travel to Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe due to the current threat of COVID-19. Team India was originally scheduled to travel to the island nation from 24th June 2020 for three ODIs and as many T20Is and to Zimbabwe for a series comprising three ODIs starting 22 August 2020.
In a statement released on Friday, while the Indian board said it was keen on taking steps towards the resumption of international cricket, it would not do it in a hurry which would jeopardise the health of its players.
“The BCCI is determined to take steps towards the resumption of international and domestic cricket, but it will not rush into any decision that will jeopardize the efforts put in by the Central and State governments and several other respective agencies in containing the spread of the coronavirus,” the statement read.
As stated in the earlier press release issued on 17 May, the BCCI will conduct a camp for its contracted players only when it is completely safe to train outdoors.
The Office-Bearers have been taking note of advisories issued by the Government of India and the Board is committed to fully comply with the restrictions imposed and guidelines issued. The BCCI will continue to study and evaluate the changing situation.
Earlier the government might have relaxed lockdown rules and athletes have slowly started individual ‘outdoor training, but the contracted Indian cricketers are waiting for the go-ahead from the BCCI before they hit the ground running.
Speaking to media, a contracted player said that while the cricketers are looking forward to start their outdoor training, they will do the same only after getting the go-ahead. For now, the players have been following the customised fitness routine given to them by trainer Nick Webb and physio Nitin Patel.
“We are being extremely careful. We trust our team’s support staff and we are working out as per their guidance. When it is the right time for us to change the process, they will let us know and we will follow the new protocols strictly. The key is to be patient in these times when the factors that have forced this change upon us are not in our control,” the player pointed.