BCCI Treasurer: Players can start skill-based training if government eases restrictions post May 18

Top cricketers might start skill-based outdoor training after May 18 if restrictions are eased in the fourth phase of the national lockdown, BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal told PTI on Thursday while talking about a roadmap to resume the sport.

Due to the countrywide lockdown, all top athletes are confined to their homes and are just doing some exercises to keep themselves fit in the lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, which will enter its fourth phase from May 18.

“Yes, the BCCI is exploring options to see how our players can start their skill-based outdoor training provided there are favourable guidelines from central government post May 18,” Dhumal said.

Asked to elaborate, Dhumal said: “Since players can’t travel, we are looking at options to see if they can start their skills training (net sessions) at grounds near their residences. The BCCI is in constant touch with the government.”

“We have a roadmap in place for the players in the post lockdown phase.”

It is expected that even if the players train at local grounds, net sessions for a batsman might mean the player and three net bowlers.

Currently, each of the Indian players are following customised fitness drill charts provided by their trainer Nick Webb.

Among the top India players, only Mohammed Shami, who owns a full-sized cricket ground in his native Sahaspur village in Uttar Pradesh, is able to do some running. Others are mostly locked in metro cities where space crunch is forcing them to do gym work.

Dhumal said there is a customised app for players and support staff which has been provided by the BCCI for their training.

“They have been using the app for their training purposes. All the senior India players and support staff have that app,” Dhumal said.

The treasurer also said that unless there is full normalcy, the BCCI will not organise any camps.

“The health and safety of our players is paramount. We will not have any camps till the travel restrictions are in place,” the treasurer added.

Asked if players will be asked to undergo COVID-19 tests, he said: “All our players are at home from first day, practising social distancing norms. They are not in camps.”

However, he said that if there is a government directive that players would have to use the Arogya Setu App, then the guidelines will be followed.

“If there is a specific directive that Arogya Setu App needs to be downloaded, then obviously we will follow the instructions.

“For the time being skill-based training for players is our priority,” he said.