HCA’s new season announcement runs into controversy

Headed by joint secretary Naresh Sharma, the League Committee took the initial steps of getting signed letters from the players, parents and club secretaries on their willingness to play in the league

By   |  Published: 16th Nov 2020  6:16 pmUpdated: 16th Nov 2020  11:20 pm

Hyderabad: With the November 6 Apex Council Meeting giving green signal for the commencement of the much-delayed local leagues because of the pandemic, the new season of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) could well begin from November 24. But it has already run into controversy with few club secretaries strongly criticsing the Apex Council’s `risky’ move.

Headed by joint secretary Naresh Sharma, the League Committee took the initial steps of getting signed letters from the players, parents and club secretaries on their willingness to play in the league.

”We have to ensure that all the Covid-19 precautions like sanitisation of the venues, Covid tests etc, are taken. We have to strictly adhere to the guidelines as we cannot take risks. It is the players, parents and club secretaries’ duties to follow the guidelines,’’ said Sharma.

Sharma said so far about 130 clubs have sent their consent with the letters from the players, parents and secretaries. Apart from the registration form, there is a self-declaration form where a player has to declare that he is Covid-19 negative. It clearly said if the player contacts Covid-19, the HCA will not hold responsible.

“In the three-day leagues, 14 teams have come forward to play. The season, in all probability, starts from November 24 with the three-day league matches. It will be a 90 overs and 40 overs match,’’ added Sharma.

The joint secretary pointed out that the grounds committee also identified nine grounds — Uppal Stadium, Gymkhana, AOC, NFC, ECIL, MMA Shamshabad, DMRC, BCC, MMR and Vijayanand — which will host the matches.

Meanwhile T Sheshnarayan, former secretary, has come down heavily on HCA for conducting the league matches despite the pandemic being widespread in the city. “Is it necessary to conduct the leagues without any bubbles? We don’t have the provisions like Andhra to have a bubble and therefore it is too risky to conduct the matches,’’ he said.

He alleged that some of the office-bearers are threatening the players that if they don’t play the league they will not be eligible for selection. “Some of the players are forced to sign the document. Is it necessary to conduct the leagues in this fashion? Has the HCA taken permission from the Government? Will the Covid-19 tests be taken daily in three-day or two-day matches? With the players coming from different places, there is a risk of contracting the virus,’’ he added.

It may be noted that President Mohammed Azharuddin has been opposing any matches this season because of the Covid-19. “Cricket is a contact sport where the players are indirectly involved with each other and that is the risk involved.”


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