U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy knockout round in doubt after spurt in COVID-19 cases


The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to pause and postpone the ongoing U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy after several players tested positive for COVID-19.

The tournament was being played in a bio-bubble in Pune and the quarterfinals were to begin on January 11, but with widespread COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra and several players contracting the virus, chances are high that the knockout stage will be put on hold for now. While State associations are awaiting a formal announcement from the Board, they have been ‘verbally’ informed that in the current scenario, it may not be possible to continue the tournament.

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Over the last few days, several teams reported COVID-19 cases and players had to be isolated. Keeping all the factors in mind, the Board is of the opinion that is not in a situation to go ahead with the tournament any further.

‘Difficult times’

Mumbai, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Vidarbha, Bengal, Haryana and Maharashtra have qualified for the quarterfinals. “These are difficult times. We don’t want to put anyone at risk. The safety of players is paramount and we will do everything to ensure that all are safe,” a source in the Board said.

Last week, the BCCI had postponed the Ranji Trophy, the Col. C. K. Nayudu Trophy, and the Senior Women’s T20 League. However, it was then decided that Cooch Behar Trophy would go ahead since the tournament was “underway.”

But now, training sessions have been called off and players are being asked to stay back in the hotel as the respective State units wait for a formal word from the Board before bringing their respective teams back home.

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