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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Post-BCCI secy’s visit, PCA, UTCA may co-host bio-bubble for domestic matches

While the BCCI has invited replies by each state association giving them four options comprising only Ranji Trophy, only Syed Mushtaq Ali (SMA) T-20 trophy, both Ranji Trophy and SMA T-20 Trophy, and both SMA T-20 trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy till December 2, the decision about the hosting venues and six bio-bubbles venues by BCCI will be decided later.

Written by Nitin Sharma | Chandigarh | December 2, 2020 6:45:38 pm
The New PCA Mullanpur International stadium, which is under construction, has been named after late Maharaja Yadavindra Singh. Singh, father of Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, had played for India in one Test match in 1934.

On a day when BCCI secretary Jay Shah accompanied by BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal visited the Punjab Cricket Association’s Maharaja Yadavindra’s Singh International Stadium at Mullanpur apart from visiting UT Cricket Association’s facilities in Chandigarh to take stock of the stadiums and facilities for the planned unapproved domestic schedule, possibility of UTCA and PCA co-hosting and providing venues for the bio-bubble to be created by BCCI has emerged.

While the BCCI has invited replies by each state association giving them four options comprising only Ranji Trophy, only Syed Mushtaq Ali (SMA) T-20 trophy, both Ranji Trophy and SMA T-20 Trophy, and both SMA T-20 trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy till December 2, the decision about the hosting venues and six bio-bubbles venues by BCCI will be decided later.

“BCCI secretary Jay Shah and treasurer Arun Dhumal visited the Sector 16 Stadium and Mahajan Cricket Ground and they have liked the venues. Covid-19 is fairly under control in Chandigarh as compared to other venues and the BCCI secretary feels that a regional-level bio-bubble can be created at Chandigarh along with PCA’s new stadium at Mullanpur and other grounds. We believe that if the Tricity is selected, then Syed Mushtaq Ali T-20 Trophy will be the best option under the current scenario and whenever domestic competitions start, it will be a big relief to all the players,” said Sanjay Tandon, UTCA president, while speaking to The Indian Express on Tuesday.

While Shah and Dhumal had arrived in Chandigarh on Monday and visited Sector 16 Stadium, the BCCI secretary had visited Dehradun to see the facilities in Uttrakhand last week. Shah and Dhumal evaded the media on Tuesday as they headed to PCA’s new stadium at Mullanpur first before visiting the UTCA’s Mahajan Cricket Ground in the afternoon.

Shah also spent more than five hours with UTCA officials, including Tandon, on Monday evening.

“BCCI secretary was earlier scheduled to visit Chandigarh on March 19 after Chandigarh had got the affiliation last year. It got cancelled due to Covid-19. We spent more than five hours discussing UTCA plans and BCCI inputs and requirements from UTCA. We discussed the four venues, namely Sector 16 Stadium, Mahajan Cricket Ground, GMSSS-Sector 26 ground and Sector 32 ground apart from the possibility of Panjab University ground too. BCCI secretary has told us that he will soon send a BCCI team with the development plan for UTCA and has also promised us full support for developing cricket facilities further in Chandigarh,” Tandon added.

Shah and Dhumal spent more than 45 minutes at the under-construction Mullanpur stadium near Mohali and were accompanied by PCA president Rajinder Gupta and PCA secretary Puneet Bali. Shah also took stock of the work to be completed at the stadium and gave his inputs.

“It was a learning experience for us as BCCI secretary shared his valuable inputs about the new stadium and what needs to be done and what changes need to be done. He also spoke about his experience of getting the world’s biggest stadium at Motera in Gujarat being completed in a record time,” Gupta said.

PCA secretary Puneet Bali too said that hosting Syed Mushtaq Ali T-20 Trophy will be the best option.

“The discussions were held regarding the restarting of domestic competitions and the necessary steps and conditions required by associations desiring to host. At the present time, hosting of Syed Mushtaq Ali T-20 Trophy remains the best possibility. If PCA is selected, BCCI will create the bio-bubble and with all the assistance, we hope to see cricketers from region and respective zones giving their best,” Bali said.

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