MUMBAI: In a major boost to sports in Maharashtra, the state government on Thursday allowed sportspersons to resume, after nine months, training for all outdoor sports, as per Covid-19 protocols, in Maharashtra.
Though earlier outdoor sports activities were allowed by the municipal corporations of Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Nagpur, sportspersons were not allowed to train outdoors till now.
“It’s a very good decision by the state government. It’s a welcome development for the sporting fraternity. For almost nine months, sportspersons could not play due to Covid, which is understandable. This decision will now encourage sporting activity in the leading sporting city of India,” former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar told TOI on Thursday.
“I appeal to all sportspersons to strictly adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) laid down by the government,” he added.
Following a request by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and federations of badminton and football, the state government finally allowed resumption of training for sports. In the coming days, permission is likely to be granted to conduct matches and competitions too.
MCA is set to host a leg of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, a domestic cricket tournament, from January 10, in a bio-secure bubble. “Good news: @MumbaiCricAssoc will host one leg of #SyedMushtaqAli T20 tournament commencing from January 10. The association will follow all the (Covid-19) protocols and the SOPs made by @CMOMaharashtra and @BCCI,” tweeted MCA secretary Sanjay Naik.
The state government has told all federations and associations to strictly follow the government’s Covid-19 SOPs. The government has made non-contact sports, minimum or medium contact games and full-contact sports, and water sports, with specific guidelines to be followed. It is mandatory for players and support staff to undergo regular Covid tests during the training.
The government has instructed sports bodies to conduct under-14 group camps separately. The under-14 players are not allowed to train with senior players. “Finally, @CMOMaharashtra has granted @MumbaiCricAssoc permission to allow their players for training. Soon, govt will give permission to play the matches too,” tweeted MCA joint secretary Shahalam Shaikh.