The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) is taking gradual steps to prepare itself for an early start next season. Most of the CAB’s tournaments for the season were put on hold due to Covid-19 pandemic. While two university tournaments were completed but the fate of the school, college, university and district tournaments would be decided in meetings.
In the meantime, CAB has already started procurement of pitch soil and are stacking it under the galleries. The decision of soil procurement was taken keeping in mind that there were possibilities of an early start to the next season provided the situation improved and the weather permitted.
“We do not know when we can resume cricket considering the prevailing circumstances. However, we are already procuring pitch soil to ensure that we can start the next season early if the situation so allows,” said CAB President, Avishek Dalmiya.
“We would not want to waste any time unnecessarily. In this regard, we recently had a positive meeting with the Indian Football Association too. We may actually start the pitch preparation earlier than when it is usually done every year”, he added.
In the aftermath of cyclone Amphan, the CAB has also begun conducting meticulous testing, with bare minimum manpower, of all electronic and electrical installations like its floodlights, electronic scoreboard and turnstiles among others.
“The Floodlights were switched on for the first time after the storms, as part of the checking exercise. Luckily, it seemed to be fine prima facie. The Maintenance Agency has been asked to check the systems thoroughly and submit a report to us,” said CAB Honorary Secretary Snehashis Ganguly.
“With this season as good as over, we have started preparations for next season. Though we have no certainty when and from what time we will be able to begin next season, we are hopeful that we will win this war against coronavirus and emerge stronger. So if the possibility so arises we are preparing beforehand so that the season can begin early,” Ganguly added.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal government is mulling resumption of sporting events after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and has called a meeting on Friday with 17 sports associations of the state, including cricket and football.
Indian Football Association secretary Joydeep Mukherjee also called on CAB chief Dalmiya on Thursday to discuss ground sharing and avoid any possible clashes as both football and cricket seasons are likely to run parallel this time.
The Maidan grounds, which are leased from the Ministry of Defence, are used for football, cricket and hockey for four months’ each in a year which was not possible this season because of the COVID-19 lockdown.
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