The permission to reopen sports complexes and stadia is certainly a massive step towards a possible resumption of sports actions in the country, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is playing a waiting game.
Even though German Bundesliga started resumed Saturday as 'ghost games' sans fans, every other sporting event around the world including the Tokyo Olympics and the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) have been either been cancelled or postponed in the wake of deadly novel coronavirus pandemic.
But the BCCI, the richest sports body in India, has not yet given up on the hopes of holding the 13th edition of the cash-rich T20 tournament.
Soon after Ministry of Home Affairs announced the new directives, to be followed during the fourth phase of the coronavirus-forced lockdown, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal, in a statement, said that "Taking into the account the restrictions on air travel and movement of people till May 31, the BCCI will wait further before organizing a skill-based training camp for its contracted players."
There's no mention of IPL in the statement, but it's safe to assume that the BCCI is keeping the cards close to its chest.
In the latest guidelines released by the MHA, sports continues to be listed alongside the functions, gatherings and large congregations which are not allowed as of now.
"The Board reiterates that the safety and well-being of its athletes and support staff is paramount and will not rush into any decision that can hamper or jeopardize India's efforts in containing the spread of the virus.
"In the meantime, the BCCI will study guidelines at the state level and will work in sync with State Cricket Associations to chalk out a programme for skill-based training at a local level," the statement further read.
The 13th edition of the IPL has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic which has brought the world to a standstill.
"The BCCI Office-Bearers will continue their interactions with the team management and draw up a suitable plan for the entire team once the situation further improves," it added.
Earlier in the day, former Australia captain Mark Taylor said that eventually this year's ICC T20 World Cup would be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, thus opening the doors for BCCI to host IPL in that slot.
The ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in Australia from October 18 to November 15.
The Indian cricket team is also scheduled to tour Australia from October 2020 to January 2021 for a full series that includes four Test matches as part of the World Test Championships besides three ODIs and as many T20Is.
The phase four of lockdown will end on May 31.
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