India will quarantine to ensure tour proceeds: BCCI
BCCI official gives hope India's tour of Australia will go ahead this summer, but says holding T20 World Cup in October will be 'difficult'
8 May 2020, 09:34 AM AEST
Virat Kohli’s Indian side will be willing to go into a two-week lockdown in order for their tour of Australia this summer to go ahead, according to a senior official at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
However, he believes it would be "difficult" for the Men’s T20 World Cup to proceed as planned in October and November this year.
India's proposed tour of Australia this season – set to include Tests, ODIs and Twenty20s - has been clouded by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen nations clamp down on international travel and large gatherings of people.
While travel restrictions from the federal government could change between now and the summer, it's possible the Indian side would need an exception to travel to Australia and also be required to quarantine for two weeks before they can play matches.
Arun Dhumal, the treasurer of the BCCI, says Kohli's side would be willing to go into lockdown for a fortnight to ensure cricket can return.
"There is no choice – everyone will have to do that. You would want to resume the cricket," Dhumal told The Sydney Morning Herald.
"Two weeks is not that long a lockdown. That would be ideal for any sportsman because when you are in quarantine for such a long period, then going to another country and having a two-week lockdown, it would be a good thing to do. We'll have to see what the norms are post this lockdown."
India's tour of Australia is still six months away, by which time it's possible other international sports would have resumed, which could help provide a template for how the tour can go ahead amid the pandemic.
This week, the New Zealand Warriors rugby league side was given government clearance to travel to Australia in order for the National Rugby League competition to resume later this month.
In the United Kingdom, one of the countries hardest hit by the health crisis, England cricket officials are reportedly looking to keep teams in an 'isolation bubble' in order for international matches to be played this northern summer.
England quick Mark Wood says he'd be willing to spend months in isolation, away from his family and friends, if it means cricket can resume.
"Being away on tour for long periods of time you sort of get used to it," he said.
"It would be very hard but as long as the environment is safe, my family are safe and everybody else there is safe then I'd be willing to do it."
Dhumal said it had yet to be decided if India and Australia will play four or five Tests this summer, but said that playing extra limited-overs fixtures would be beneficial as nations look to recoup financial losses caused by the pandemic.
"Given the revenue loss they will have on account of lockdown, post lockdown they will want to have revenue and revenue most likely will come from ODIs or T20s much more than a Test match," he said.
Dhumal added that even if quarantine and travel restrictions can be overcome in order for the T20 World Cup to proceed in Australia in October, re-starting international cricket with such an important tournament would "not be wise".
"They will have been out of cricket for a long time," he said.
"Would you want to be without training for that long and straight away go and play (the) World Cup? That is a call every board has to take. It seems to be difficult."