Coronavirus Outbreak: Squash Rackets Federation of India to defer world body's phased plan of restart
The phase one of the World Squash Federation plan allows just one player per court, separate entry and exit points from the training venues, and bars competitive events
The World Squash Federation might have come up with a phase-wise proposal to restart the sport but the national governing body says it would prefer to wait some more before planning its next course of action amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The phase one of the WSF plan allows just one player per court, separate entry and exit points from the training venues, and bars competitive events.
The second part of phase one includes one-to-one coaching and an eventual resumption of match play and group coaching by the end of phase four.
"They are not an all-encompassing one that could work in all countries (uniformly). We are waiting for new guidelines from State and Central Governments to plan our next course of action," Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) Secretary Cyrus Poncha said during a webinar.
The central government has already allowed reopening of sports complexes and stadia without spectators. National camps are gradually gearing up for a restart after this announcement.
Poncha also said there will be no change as of now in the dates and venues of the national junior/sub-junior championships scheduled in Mumbai from 31 October to 6 November.
"The SRFI rankings till April have been frozen, and an updated rankings list will be released after the junior nationals," he said.
"Players can withdraw their entries three hours (6 pm) prior to closure (9 pm)."
Poncha also revealed a few changes to the national circuit, which will allow girls in different age groups to compete at the U-19 level. Girls in the age group of U-11, 13, 15 and 17 can take part in one more category, U-19, apart from their own age groups.
"This will not be applicable to boys as of now," said Poncha.
Intra-city schools championship for boys and girls will be held in districts and cities across the country as and when the situation gets better.
He said closed state championships, which earlier had 2-star rankings points, will carry only 1-star points now.
Poncha said the national circuit will continue to be suspended as the SRFI does not want to compromise the health and safety of their players, fans and tournament staff.
Asked what has SRFI planned for elite players like Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa, Poncha said he was in touch with the senior players and had an online meeting with them to discuss plans for the 2022 Commonwealth and the Asian Games.
With regards to their fitness regimen, Poncha said the players were exercising and training on their own and doing their best under the stressful circumstances.
In a new report, the global health agency estimated that nearly 15 million people were killed either by the coronavirus or its impact on health systems. For India, it pegged the amount at 4.7 million, 10 times higher than official COVID death toll
With the exception of the Winter Olympics — held in a virus-secure, closed-loop Beijing bubble — China has cancelled or postponed almost all events since Covid emerged in Wuhan in late 2019.