COVID-19: BCCI suspends all age-group tournaments with eye on coronavirus situation


With an eye on the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to suspend all age-group competitions like the upcoming Vinoo Mankad Trophy and will assess the situation further post the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). In a letter to the state associations, accessed by news agency ANI, BCCI secretary Jay Shah informed them of the situation and the decision to suspend age-group competitions at present as that would require inter-city travel and creation of bio bubbles. 

“The domestic season 2020-21 started unusually late owing to the countrywide lockdown on account of the global pandemic. The pandemic meant that we had to wait until January 2021 to start our domestic season and as discussed in the 89th AGM, we began our season by hosting the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy ahead of the IPL Auction,” the letter read.  

The domestic T20 tournament was followed by the Vijay Hazare Trophy, which was successfully conducted at different centres in India with New Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium hosting the final between UPCA and MCA on Sunday, 14th March. 

“The Women’s Senior One Day Trophy is also currently underway at different centres with the final scheduled to take place on 4th April. While our endeavor was to get in as many matches as was practicable across different age groups in the season, prevailing circumstances have now forced us to suspend all age-group tournaments. This is on account of the fact that active COVID cases are on the rise and organising tournaments requires intercity travel, strict quarantine measures and the creation and maintenance of bio-secure bubbles for the participants,” Shah explained. 

The secretary then added that with the board exams round the corner, it would be appropriate to plan the age-group games post the IPL slated to be held between April 9 and May 30. “Moreover, the situation is presently not conducive in some states. Considering the fact that the 10th and 12th board examinations are also around the corner across India, it is prudent that our young athletes have the opportunity to prepare and focus on these crucial examinations. 

“Furthermore, our players’ health, safety and well-being are our primary concern. I assure you that we will continue exploring a window for organising the age-group tournaments post the IPL 2021,” he added.

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Sagar Biswas

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