By Khurram Habib
New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) Despite the Indian cricket board announcing a detailed schedule for the domestic season 2021-22, which includes the Ranji Trophy, some government agencies officials are not thrilled. They say it is not possible to hold 2127 matches, including those in junior tournaments, especially as the board had just four days ago announced that it could not host the T20 World Cup – expected to have only 45 matches due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s funny. It looks like the COVID-19 situation has improved within three days (the announcement that the T20 World Cup moved to the UAE due to Covid-19 came on June 29, i.e. Tuesday) “And the danger of the third wave or the fourth wave has been averted! Either that, or the cricket board believes that safety and health for domestic cricketers is not as important as for international cricketers,” said a senior official who did not want to be identified.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in its statement on Saturday that it is confident of hosting the season taking into account the safety and health of all players. The domestic season 2021-22 runs from 21 September this year to 26 March 2022.
“BCCI is confident of hosting the domestic season of health and safety for players and all people involved that is paramount,” the board said in its statement.
Earlier this week – June 29 – however, both BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah had mentioned concerns about the players’ health and safety as reasons for their inability to host the T20 World Cup in the country.
The official said that if BCCI was so uncertain about its ability to keep players from 16 international teams safe, how would it be able to keep players from 38 state teams safe. There are 38 states in the men’s senior tournaments and 37 in the women’s section.
“It is impractical. We are still not sure if the tournament will start. BCCI has announced 2,127 games. They are too many. “If some of the matches are affected by Covid-19, you will have to cancel them, maybe split points, and that will spot the event,” the official added.
Another state association official said his association only sees it as a preliminary schedule.
“I will only consider it as a preliminary schedule. At best, I think we can be sure that they will only host tournaments with limited overs. It is very difficult to host several days of games. This will require enormous efforts, especially when we are not sure of the status of COVID-19 in the country, ”he added.
“There is the issue of vaccination,” another official added.
In India, vaccination is open to people over 18 years of age.
“They have also planned tournaments under the age of 16 – Vijay Merchant Trophy. How are players under the age of 16 vaccinated. Some of the under 19 players (in the Cooch Behar Trophy) will also be under 18, ”the official said.
While the women’s one-day league starts the season, the men’s season begins with Syed Mushtaq Ali [T20] Trophy on October 20, 2021. The final will be played on November 12.
The Ranji Trophy, which was canceled last season due to the pandemic, will be played from November 16, 2021 to February 19, 2022, while Vijay Hazare finalists will take place from February 23, 2022 to March 26, 2022.
The Cooch Behar Trophy under 19 will be held from November 14, 2021 to February 7, 2022. The Vijay Merchant Trophy under 16 begins on October 1, 2021 and ends on December 6, 2022.
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