BCCI to discuss future of domestic season in apex council meeting

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to discuss the prospects of holding the 2020-21 domestic season during the virtual Apex Council meeting on October 17, Sportstar reported.

BCCI is yet to make any concrete decision regarding the domestic season that would have started by the end of August in normal circumstances.

During the last Apex Council meeting, the board was set to discuss the domestic scheduling, standard operating procedures (SOP) and Future Tours Program for the men’s and women’s sides, but deferred the decision owing to the restrictions that were still in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was said that the board was waiting for government guidelines before taking a decision on the fate of the resumption of domestic and international cricket in the country.

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As per a plan released a few months ago, the BCCI revealed their desire to hold a full-fledged women’s domestic season with senior, Under-23 and Under-19 tournaments across both one-day and T20 formats. But in September, it was suggested that the possible November start to the season, seemed unlikely and there is a possibility of having no domestic cricket at all, if not started in December- January.

Sourav Ganguly, BCCI president, earlier said that they have been trying to formulate a plan for the domestic tournaments. However, state associations haven’t received any official words from the board regarding this.

“We have our plans in place but there are a lot of factors that we need to keep in mind before going ahead with the season,” an official from the BCCI was quoted as saying. “States have different protocols and the state associations need to follow the guidelines accordingly. The health and safety is of utmost importance and we are monitoring the situation.”

As per the report, Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), Cricket Association of Pondicherry and Sikkim Cricket Association have already started fitness camps with a plan to resume cricket. In fact, CAP and SCA have already held a preliminary round of selections.

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In other news, India’s women cricketers will be leaving for the United Arab Emirates to participate in the three-team Women’s T20 Challenge scheduled to be played during the Indian Premier League (IPL) play-off week in November. There have been reports about the possibility the team travelling to Sri Lanka post the tournament, but there is uncertainty regarding the tour due to quarantine protocols.

It is expected that men’s side tour to Australia and their home series against England would also come up for discussions during the meeting. Once a decision has been made regarding the bio-bubble protocols for these events there could be better clarity about the board’s plan of action.

“The situation is still fluid, but we have to discuss various points and make sure that we are ready,” the official added.