Former India captain Rahul Dravid has said the country is not in a position to resume cricket. The legendary batsman, who is currently the Director of the National Cricket Academy (NCA), also stressed on the importance of being patient. Few countries have started taking steps to resume cricket but India are yet to take any decision in that direction.
Just like other countries, cricket in India has been stalled since March due to COVID-19 scenario. The IPL had to be suspended indefinitely in the light of the pandemic. With the situation not promising at all right now, the resumption of cricket looks highly unlikely at the moment.
And Rahul Dravid rightly believes that the game cannot be resumed in the country at the moment despite considerably relaxation from the government after the strict lockdown. Rahul Dravid also said the domestic season could be shortened too due to the pandemic.
“I don’t think we are in a position to resume…. It is better to be patient and wait,” Rahul Dravid told the Week. “We have to take it month by month. One has to look at all options. If the domestic season, which usually starts by August-September, starts in October… one has to see whether the season should be shortened.
“Everything is uncertain right now. How much cricket will be played and what it will take to be able to play depends on the guidelines from the government and medical experts. For us at NCA, the busiest time is from April to June. We normally have our zonal, U-16, U-19, U-23 camps happening at this time. We had to keep redrawing plans. I just hope we don’t lose a lot of our cricket season, and that we can get some cricket this year,” he added.
The former India U19 and A coach said he had hoped to resume training in NCA, in Bangalore, by May.
“We have been making plans for all scenarios… but all of it looks very uncertain right now. The monsoon will set in over the next two months, and cricket will be possible only in few parts of the country. We will have to consider all this,” he said.
“I was hoping we would resume training at NCA in May, but that did not happen. We cannot rush young boys and girls even in bio-secure bubbles.
“In international cricket, it (bio-secure cricket) is possible. I believe the England-West Indies series will be a lesson for all. It has its own challenges. It is not as easy at the domestic level,” he added.
Rahul Dravid stressed on the importance of safety, saying missing a few months of cricket is better than exposing players to health risks.
“The best-case scenario is that we will be able to hold some camps once cricket activity is allowed,” he said. “The worst-case scenario is the season is totally washed out (age-group cricket). Missing a few months of cricket is nothing compared with ensuring we are safe.
“The NCA will possibly open initially for some local cricketers. Those arriving from other places will have to first quarantine themselves for 14 days. Whether that is possible, we have to see.
“For domestic cricket, fortunately, we were able to complete most of our competitions before the lockdown. We have to see whether players are comfortable with inter-state travel. Our training programmes will depend on which domestic tournament will be played first. If it is T20, then we will start the programme accordingly,” he added.
International cricket will finally resume next month with the three-match Test series between England and West Indies. England will then host Pakistan for three Tests and as many T20Is in August and September.