The BCCI has postponed the Vijay Merchant Trophy U16 tournament, which was scheduled to begin on January 9, following the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in the country. BCCI secretary, Jay Shah stated that the primary reason for the postponement is that the participants are still not vaccinated.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has postponed the Vijay Merchant Trophy U16 competition, which was originally scheduled to begin on January 9, amid rising Covid-19 cases in the country with the threat of a new variant Omicron. The decision of the governing body comes a day after the BCCI relaxed the age clause for the year.
In a letter to state associations, BCCI secretary, Jay Shah informed them about the postponement of the U-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy due to rising COVID-19 cases in India. Jay Shah further added that the primary reason for the postponement is that the participants are still not vaccinated, and thus they are vulnerable to the virus.
"After consulting experts and seeking views of the medical teams and operations team, it has been decided that keeping health and safety in mind, the U16 Vijay Merchant Trophy is postponed for this season," BCCI secretary Jay Shah informed the state associations in a letter on Thursday (December 30).
"The primary reason is that the participants are still not vaccinated and as such, are vulnerable," Shah added.
Jay Shah reckoned that the plan of the governing body to conduct all domestic games without any delay across age groups have to be put on hold as the situation in the country is serious.
"Ahead of the domestic season, we had said that we will endeavour to have a full season across age groups. We started off well and are now mid-way into the season having completed 748 matches when we have again encountered a serious issue. The cases across lndia are spiralling and despite being a large number of adults doubly vaccinated, they have still been infected," Shah wrote.
The BCCI secretary further added that the situation could get out of control if proper steps are not taken.
"We have been closely monitoring the situation in lndia and across the world, and it is estimated that the caseload will shoot up in the immediate future if the situation is not controlled now," Shah said.
Jay Shah asserted that the BCCI will always give preference to the health of the cricketers.
"We must exercise caution and not be adventurous and put the health of our talented cricketers at grave risk. Let us hope we avoid the third wave and do everything within our control to stay safe."