COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip the nation as well as the world, no change there.
In cricket, the BCCI is hoping that the monsoon clears the way for it to host IPL-13 in October and November.
Speaking at the TCM Sports Huddle webinar, the Indian cricket board CEO Rahul Johri said, "More people watched the IPL last year than those who voted for general elections. For sponsors, cricket is a leader and it will lead the way. The recovery will be sharper than a V-shaped recovery."
"When flights resume, everyone has to quarantine themselves before playing. We will have to look at how that will impact the schedules, which as it is are tight. Imagine you have to factor in 14-day quarantine prior to practice also. So there are a lot of moving parts. But we are still optimistic. Hopefully, the situation will improve after monsoon, and we will approach it then," opined Johri.
The BCCI is banking heavily on the ICC postponing the Twenty20 World Cup scheduled to be held between October 18 and November 15 in Australia.
The BCCI has also delayed the decision on Sri Lanka tour in July and has decided to wait on clarity over international travel restrictions. As per the ICC schedule, Virat Kohli and co. are scheduled to tour the Island nation for three One Day Internationals and as many Twenty20 games.
"Nothing has been decided as yet, because we are not sure what would be the trvel restritions then," BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal said adding that , "there is no clarity about it. So we'll wait for that and accordingly take a call." Sri Lanka Cricket on Wednesday evening announced that their players will resume training from June 1.
Elsewhere, England's training session has been delayed due to safety protocol complications. The England Cricket Board was hoping to resume players' training at the earliest in order to resume Test cricket in July against the West Indies and later versus Pakistan (for which PCB is reportedly planning to send a 25-man squad to meet the demands of playing an entire tour in a ‘bio-secure’ bubble.)
However, due to the scarcity in personal protective equipment (PPE) which has to be worn by physios and delay in delivering the cricket balls to bowlers training couldn't kick-off as per the original plan," ESPNCricinfo reported.
Earlier, it was established that each bowler would be using his own cricket ball as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus.
We may have to wait till the end of this week to have a glimpse of cricket training under the new protocol.
Also, Cricket Australia is exploring the possibility of disinfecting the ball during matches to minimise the health risk to players. However, CA Sports Science and Sports Medicine still isn't sure of the impact of the virus on the ball.
"We’d obviously have to test it, we’d have to speak to the ICC and get permission. The ball being leather, it’s harder to disinfect because it’s got little nooks and crevices. So we don’t know how effective it’s going to be, we don’t know how infected the ball is going to get and we don’t know if it’s going to be allowed,” the CA Sports Science and Sports Medicine team manager Alex Kountouris said in a video-conference on Wednesday.
Not much encouraging news from football, especially Premier League. As of Wednesday morning, over a half a dozen positive coronavirus tests were confirmed. Watford on Wednesday confirmed that one player and two members of staff have tested positive for coronavirus.
They will now self-isolate for seven days, in line with the protocols set out in Premier League guidelines, before being tested again at a later date.
Another club, Burnley, confirmed that their assistant manager Ian Woan has tested positive for coronavirus. Woan is asymptomatic and is currently safe and well at home, the club said in a statement.
Prior to that the Premier League confirmed that six people have tested positive from three clubs.
"The Premier League can today confirm that on Sunday, May 17 and Monday, May 18, 748 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, six have tested positive from three clubs," Premier League had said in a statement.
The International Hockey Federation has said that International competition can resume only after COVID-19 vaccine is developed: FIH in its five-stage process, devised for the resumption of the game at different levels, has said that "trans-continental competition" will be played only after a vaccine is developed to cure the coronavirus.
"These are very early days when it comes to a return to action but, within its guidance, FIH has produced a five-stage process showing the route back to something resembling normality. This starts, as has been seen in the Netherlands and Belgium, with a return to carefully managed training, still with social distancing measures in place," said the FIH in a statement.
"The next stage will be a resumption of regional competition, followed by local travel between neighbouring nations. The trans-continental competition will follow and, finally, once a vaccine is in place. It is hoped that there will be a return to normal competition," added the FIH.
The FIH has also mentioned that "there is no time scale for these stages to be reached and it will vary from country to country."
Three "PST" measures have been put in place by governments across the world -- Public gathering restrictions (P), Social distancing (S) and Travel restrictions (T).
Meanwhile, SAI Bengaluru is under the scanner after a COVID-19 positive cook died of cardiac arrest. Did Indian hockey players come in contact with COVID-19 positive cook at the centre? The Indian Olympic Association president Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, however, on Wednesday refuted such claims.
"I have been in touch with Hockey India and I am fully satisfied with the way SAI Bangaluru centre has been kept safe and sanitised. SAI administration is doing its best to handle the issue at hand and there is no reason to panic. We have spoken to officials and players staying in SAI Bangalore, it is clear that none of them have interacted with the person who tested COVID positive. Any report suggesting that they did, is incorrect," Batra said in a statement.
In the world of tennis, the ATP has partnered with Sporting Chance and Headspace to support the mental health and well-being of its players and staff
The ATP has announced new partnerships with Sporting Chance and Headspace to support the mental health and well-being of its player members and staff.
And news from the Tokyo Olympics is that this edition would be cancelled if not held in 2021. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach confirmed this. Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had said that the quadrennial event cannot take place until the virus is contained. In March, the IOC and Japanese government took the unprecedented decision of postponing the Games by a year.
With Agency Inputs