After a break of ten months, the Maharashtra government has allowed sportspersons to resume practice and training sessions. Water sports and swimming can now resume with strict adherence to standard operating procedures.
In a government circular which categories sports into non-contact, minimal-medium contact games, full contact games and water sports, sporting associations have been advised to avoid excess crowding, especially in team sports and completely avoid containment zones.
However, it is learnt that the government will take a few more weeks to allow resumption of sports competitions in the city. According to the circular, organising sports competitions or workshops and training camps at any level should not be done till further orders are issued.
“Before starting practice of all these games, the standard working procedures of the government (Covid-19 Standard Operating Protocol) should be observed and followed,” the circular reads.
It is understood that the state government will allow holding of competitions in the city in the last week of December. The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) is scheduled to host Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy from January 10. So as per the circular, the MCA will again have to approach the state government for permission.
MCA will host teams like Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala and Puducherry, which will play T20 league games in the city at two grounds – Wankhede Stadium and MCA BKC ground.
“The news has certainly come as a breath of fresh air for us. We have approached the government many times before seeking permission. At least individual players can resume training before tournaments start,” said MCA joint secretary Shah Alam Shaikh.
According to the circular, there should be no more than 10 to 15 players at the scheduled time without crowding at the training ground while practice times should be kept different for players below 14 years of age.
“Care should be taken to ensure that senior players do not participate in the practice. In all these sports practice areas, cleaning and sanitising should be done after each batch according to the standard operating procedure (Covid-19 Standard Operating Protocol) of sports equipment,” the circular added.
If any player or parent is found to have cold, cough or fever, he or she should be prohibited from coming to practice.
Sports like cricket, football and inter-school games have taken a severe hit due to the pandemic and many coaches have been rendered jobless.