Andhra Pradesh

COVID-19 casts shadow on three major events in Feb.

As of now, the T20 match between India and the West Indies is on, according to Visakhapatnam District Cricket Association.
Sumit BhattacharjeeJanuary 23, 2022 07:46 IST
Updated: January 23, 2022 07:46 IST

Though the organisers of T20 match and PFR have been going ahead with the preparations, doubts linger

The rapid rise in COVID-19 cases has cast a shadow on three major events that are scheduled to take place in February.

To begin with, there is the much-awaited T20 cricket match between India and the West Indies, to be played at Dr. Y.S Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Stadium on February 18.

Next up is the Presidential Fleet Review of the Indian Navy on February 21 and ‘Milan’ — another exercise by the Navy which is scheduled to commence from February 25.

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Though neither the BCCI nor the officials from Eastern Naval Command have commented on any likely impact that the pandemic might have on the events, it is learnt that preparations are on in full swing.

Speaking to The Hindu , Visakhapatnam District Cricket Association secretary K. Parthasarathi said, “We have not received any instructions from the BCCI. As of today, the match is on and we are preparing the ground and the pitch.”

“Normally, we have three options— either drop the fixture and cancel the tour or play the match in an empty stadium without the crowds, the way the recent tour to South Africa was played, or regulate the crowd to a percentage as desired by the BCCI,” said a senior member of the Andhra Cricket Association.

Based on instructions from the BCCI, the ACA has suspended all domestic fixtures including the Ranji Trophy and local league schedules till further announcement.

“As for adhering to the bio-bubble protocols, we are fully trained and all systems are in place. There should not be any problem for the players and the officials. But the decision on holding the match or allowing crowds is left to the BCCI,” Mr. Parthasarathi said.

The same appears to be the case with the programmes of the Indian Navy. Preparations are on and the decision will be taken as the days go by and based on the situation at that time.

Milan, in which around 45 friendly foreign navies are said to be participating, was supposed to be held in March 2020. It was postponed for two years due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is also a much-awaited event and it is tipped to be on the lines of the IFR (International Fleet Review), which the city had already witnessed in 2016.

Positive signs

As per a senior official from the Eastern Naval Command, the preparations for both PFR and Milan are on and so far, no directions have come from the Union Government or Ministry of Defence.

As per an estimate by the medical fraternity, though the spread of the third wave is rapid, it is likely to taper down by the first week of February. This is a positive sign and since both PFR and Milan are events worth witnessing, the organisers are keeping their fingers crossed.

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