While cricket is currently suspended amidst the novel Coronavirus pandemic, there have been discussions of the resumption of outdoor training for the Indian cricket team, even though there has been no confirmation whether any cricketing action will happen anytime soon. However, the two stalwarts of Team India, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma- might possibly be left out from the training drills, as both icons are residing in Mumbai, which has been the most affected in the COVID-19 crisis.
Mumbai has seen around 27,000 positive cases, and more than a thousand affected patients have succumbed to the virus, recorded highest in the country. With an expected continuation of strict lock down in the coming weeks or even months, getting Kohli or Rohit from the capital of Maharashtra may be impossible for BCCI.
“For players like Kohli and Rohit, the restrictions are there in Mumbai and might stay,” Arun Dhumal, BCCI’s treasurer was quoted by AFP.
The two Men in Blue icons stay in Worli, Mumbai, which single handedly has registered 20% of positive COVID-19 cases in the city.
The training is aimed to begin at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru in the near future, depending on the possible mitigation of the lock down. However, the cricketers are maintaining their training drills at home, Dhumal added that BCCI is reaching out to the stars via the internet.
“As of now we are working, given the lock down restrictions, through apps and online modes. The coaches and support staff are regularly in touch with the players.”
He continued: “Everybody would be keen to hit the ground and the idea is whenever we are ready for cricket to resume, they (the players) are able to give their 100 percent.”
However, as Bengaluru itself is still under the threat from the virus, alternative cities are also being considered for training, in case the Karnataka capital doesn’t turn out to be feasible for the resumption of training.
Recently, Cricket Australia and The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed that their players will soon resume their outfield training. ECB is also expecting to host a three match Test series against West Indies in July, however, with strict regulations.