India is scheduled set to tour Sri Lanka for a limited-overs series in mid-July but it’s looking pretty difficult that the series will go ahead, given the current situation around COVID-19. And, at a time when due to the proliferation of the coronavirus and the current lockdown imposed in most of the countries around the world, cricket boards have been postponing tours, the Sri Lankan cricket board has requested the Board of Control For Cricket in India [BCCI] to consider touring the island nation for the limited-overs fixtures scheduled in mid-July.
But according to a top BCCI official, it is almost impossible for the Indian tour of Sri Lanka to go ahead considering the current situation. The board official, in an interview to IANS, said that the first and foremost priority of the BCCI currently is to ensure cricketers stuck in the red-zone to move to the green zone so that they can resume their training, which, considering the gravity of the situation in Mumbai and Bengaluru looks difficult as of now.
“I would say it is close to impossible at present. Firstly, we need to take one step at a time in the current scenario and you do realise that some of our players are stuck in Mumbai and Bengaluru — two zones which are highly affected by the pandemic,” a BCCI official told IANS.
He added: “Without even going into the question on whether the Indian team would travel without the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma among others, I would say will international travel be permissible? So, we all need to wait and watch how things unfold,”
I doubt we will be in a position to travel outside the country by mid-July: BCCI official on India-Sri Lanka series
The official added that considering the current situation, he doesn’t think it will be feasible to travel outside the country by mid-July. The official said that the BCCI will try its best to honour all its commitments, if not now, then at a later date.
“But keeping in mind how efficiently the government has looked to fight the battle against the pandemic, I doubt we will be in a position to travel outside the country by mid-July. The BCCI will obviously try to honour all its commitments, if not now, then at a later date which suits both boards involved,” the official added.
He added; “But looking at the current scenarios, safety is priority. Also, to get cricketers in the red zone to come out and travel to a green zone is currently not allowed. So, if the government does in the near future allow that, we will have to see what happens from there on and if we can then start domestic cricket. Domestic cricket is the way forward at present,”
According to a report published in The Island’, Sri Lankan Cricket Board had sent an e-mail to their Indian counterparts, requesting the BCCI the possibility of Virat Kohli’s side travelling to Sri Lanka for three ODIs and as many T20Is in mid-July.
“when contacted by The Island, an official said that they would have to follow strict quarantine rules and the series might take place behind closed doors considering the safety of fans.” the report further stated.
Earlier, Sri Lanka had also offered to host the IPL but the BCCI turned it down, stating in the current situation, it is not possible for players to travel and so the question of shifting the tournament does not arise.