With training having resumed two weeks back, the Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) is adamant that they are following all required health protocols from their mother body – the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC).
The BCA secretary Sumod Damodar said they managed to submit their plan and it got approved, hence resuming their training sessions for national men and women teams as well as the under 19 team.
“We are following strict health measures to ensure that our players, coaches and administrator’s health is well taken care of. We had a company sanitizing our premises thoroughly, and they also left some staff to ensure regular sanitizing hence adhering to good health,” Damodar noted.
The BCA secretarysaid they ensure that during training their players do not share any equipment.Hesaid the International Cricket Council (ICC) has also made some changes due to the pandemic.
“Like every sport code affected by Covid19, cricket also had to alter their way of running things. ICC issued a memo that there will be no use of saliva on the ball as per some player’s habit,” he explained.
He went on to add that before players come back for training, the BCA ‘asks for players’ guardians’ permission as their health comes first.’
“Although this is not compulsory, our player’s parents are reacting well to this new norm,” Damodar said. Our players have been training well and adhering to what is needed of them.”
When asked on the mental assistance offered to players during these trying times, the BCA Secretary said the association did what it had to do despite the circumstances.
“During lockdown, there was not much that could be done due to the social distancing. Our development coaches however kept in touch with their respective players and groups, supportingthem emotionally to keep them in highspirits.”
“Our coaches shared workouts plans with their players for home use, to try keep them in good shape and fit,” he explained.
Moreover, he added that the BCA had through the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) applied to the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC) for financial grants for national team players.
He added that the applications for players’ COVID 19 relief have already been submitted and hopefully soon they will pay off their packages.
“Despite activities been nullified, and some postponed, soon they will be back in action hence the need to get the team ready.”
“Our players are reacting very well to the new normal. They are all in high spirits and happy to be back on open fields after being indoors for a long time,” he said.
“They also seem to have quickly learnt to adjust to their new normal. Nonetheless, only time will tell how well adjusted they are as we all try to fulfill our obligations for everyone’s safety in any case.”
Damodar further added that ICC has encouraged all stakeholders to follow their mother body and government’s health protocols, as they continue to work on ways to normalize and make this time easier for everyone.
He added that the ICC is encouraging them to follow proposed and approved plans as well as align themselves to what needs to be done.
The BCA Secretary further added that they are aware that COVID 19 is here to stay, hence the need to learn to live with it.
Where possible, he said players are advised to stay away from social media as it seems to be more of a negative tool than a positive for people’s mental health during these critical and challenging times.
In conclusion, Damodar noted that international, national and regional competitions that were postponed might be scheduled for this year in October, depending on how the pandemic goes.
“We shall see as August approaches how they are scheduled because good health comes first despite limited time,” he concluded.