Cricket

COVID-19 | Cricket Australia, New Zealand Cricket Board not revoking NOCs as of now

I’m ready: KKR’s new signing Tom Banton.

I’m ready: KKR’s new signing Tom Banton.  

Concerns over participation of foreign players due to travel restrictions

Even as COVID-19 continues to cripple major sporting events, the cricket boards of Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand are still open to the idea of sending their players to India for IPL-13, should it happen.

The final approval is subject to the respective governments giving the go ahead and providing adequate preventive measures to combat the pandemic.

The Indian Sports Ministry on Thursday issued a fresh directive to federations in the country to suspend all events, competitions and trials until April 15, and with the introduction of restriction on air travel from regions in Europe or Asia, there are concerns over the participation of foreign players in this year’s IPL.

Working with players

A Cricket Australia (CA) spokesperson said the board was working with players and their managers on ensuring, “they are aware of all the facts before they consider playing overseas. This information is being shared as part of ongoing discussions.

“The NOCs will most likely be issued along with information to ensure all players are fully informed before making individual decisions. As you can see, it is a very fluid situation.”

The IPL-bound Australian players are in a limbo after the country’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday issued an indefinite level-4 travel ban but Pat Cummins (KKR) and Josh Hazlewood’s (CSK) manager Judie Andersen of Maximum Group International said there was “nothing from CA (on revoking NOCs) at the moment but they are reviewing the situation. Regarding the IPL, other than a tentative date of April 15, there have been no further updates.”

Same sentiment

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Cricket Board (NZC) too has echoed the same sentiment. The two remaining ODIs between Australia and New Zealand were cancelled and the visitors were forced to return home to avoid new travel restrictions.

According to NZC, there has been “no consideration given to revoking NOCs. Instead, NZC is focusing on ensuring our professional players, men and women, receive the most relevant information, advice and guidance as it comes to hand.”

Elsewhere, sources close to KKR’s new signing Tom Banton have indicated that the England international was intending to play if the IPL went ahead. “Tom will follow government advice and be guided by his core employer Somerset CC as well as ECB. He really hopes the IPL can go ahead as long as safety is in place with regard to the coronavirus,” said the source, on condition of anonymity.

At home, after a washout of the series opener in Dharamshala, India’s two remaining ODIs against South Africa were cancelled as a precautionary measure. The call to reschedule the series came close on the heels of BCCI’s decision to defer the IPL until April 15.

However, CSA has refrained from taking a definitive stance — at this point — on its players featuring in the IPL. “Given the time still leftbefore the IPL, we have not yet contacted our colleagues at the BCCI about this. “On the next course of action, CSA will be guided by the provisions of the government of South Africa, in terms of what the sporting fraternity would be at liberty to do,” said CSA’s Head of Media and Communications.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 4:26:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/covid-19-cricket-australia-new-zealand-cricket-board-not-revoking-nocs-as-of-now/article31122300.ece

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