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Saturday, August 08, 2020

Pandemic will start hitting Indian cricket more in October: Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid said much of the Indian domestic season can be completed even if a vaccine is found by the end of this year, but that the real effect of the pandemic will be felt from October, when the seasons for junior and women cricketers begin.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: August 1, 2020 8:20:20 am
Former India captain Rahul Dravid now heads the NCA. (File Photo/AP)

Rahul Dravid said the real effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on Indian cricket will be felt in October, when the domestic season for the country’s junior and women cricketers start.

Like all state associations, which have either indefinitely postponed or cancelled their tournaments, the NCA, which Dravid heads, is yet to resume operations following the nationwide lockdown. This has left hundreds of domestic cricketers uncertain.

“We’ve been lucky so far [that the pandemic started in March towards the end of BCCI’s domestic season], but come October, things might start getting stressful,” Dravid said in a webinar hosted by Deccan Herald.

“A few international tournaments have been cancelled and repositioned, and people can always find time and place for that, but once October comes around, that’s when I think it’ll start hitting us more. The next domestic season, for a lot of our young domestic players – juniors, Under-16s, Under-19s and women cricketers – start in October.

“If we aren’t able to get back to a level of normalcy from then – it could take longer – we’ll see the real impact on our domestic cricket and grassroots cricket. This year is probably more important for someone in his final year of Under-19s, than say for someone who is 23-24,” he said.

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The former Indian captain said the BCCI needs to prioritise which tournaments it wants to host because there is not much chance of a full domestic season this year. He said the schedule can be accommodated to have a curtailed domestic season, considering that the vaccine to the virus can be hoped to be found by the end of 2020.

Dravid had earlier said that the bio-secure bubble plan that the England Cricket Board is carrying out might not be possible in many countries.

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