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BCCI Postpones U-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy After Increases Covid Cases

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has postponed the Vijay Merchant Trophy U16 competition due to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in India.

“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.

The BCCI secretary has conceded that the board’s plans of conducting the full gamut of domestic matches may have hit a roadblock. “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 India are spiraling and despite being a large number of adults doubly vaccinated, they have still been infected,” Shah wrote.

He has also mentioned the situation could get out of control if proper steps are not taken. “We have been closely monitoring the situation in India 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.

He signed off the letter stating that the BCCI will refrain from being adventurous. “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.”

Earlier, the BCCI said it identified 60 players who were found to be above the threshold limit of 16.5 years in the bone test but confirmed that these players will be allowed to take part in the tournament as the exercise of bone test and the conduct of the tournament were undertaken late.

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