Fielding two teams simultaneously may continue if COVID challenges persist: BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal

Fielding two teams simultaneously may continue if COVID challenges persist: BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal

Many major series and tournaments have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arun Dhumal
Arun Dhumal. (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)

In a rare incidence, fans will see two different Indian cricket teams playing simultaneously next month. While the Virat Kohli-led side would be in England for a five-match Test series, Shikhar Dhawan will marshal the limited-overs team in three ODIs and as many T20Is in Sri Lanka. Although these coinciding fixtures are announced to make for the lost time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many believe that this could be a norm.

Notably, many travel and isolation protocols have been enforced after the virus came into the picture. Owing to this, ‘bio-bubble fatigue’ has become a common term in the sporting world. Speaking of the same, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) treasurer Arun Dhumal said it is possible that India could continue fielding two different teams if the coronavirus challenge persists.

“It is a definite possibility that India could play another limited-overs tour with a younger squad while the main team players are playing elsewhere or need a break. The COVID-19 related restrictions also need to be factored in,” Dhumal was quoted as saying by NDTV.

Fielding two Indians will allow the happening of more limited-overs cricket: Arun Dhumal

Highlighting the ridiculous depth of the Indian squad, Dhumal also said that fielding two national teams would allow more white-ball cricket to take place. He also talked about the financial dent cricket bodies have suffered from the postponement and suspension of major series and tournaments.

“It (two India squads) also shows the solid bench strength of the Indian team and gives us an opportunity to organise more bilateral cricket and help other boards which are facing financial challenges amid the pandemic. It is imperative to come up with new ideas to deal with the loss of bilateral cricket that has happened over the last 18 months,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, BCCI has named six uncapped players in India’s squad for Sri Lanka. However, most of the players in the camp are proven IPL stars and are expected to do well in the Island nation. On the other hand, the Test team, before the England series, will meet New Zealand in the much-awaited ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand.