Cricket has seen international series postponed, the Indian Premier League put on hold and the T20 World Cup in Australia thrown into doubt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only this but some major local hot weather tournaments of Delhi also faced the heat. There was a time, before IPL came into existence, when tournaments like Goswami Ganesh Dutt Memorial Cricket Tournament and All India Om Nath Sood Memorial Cricket Tournament used to be consider as the best platforms for new comers to perform and get a chance to play for Delhi and later India.
However, following the rise of the cash-rich league, such events lost fame. Still many star players consider playing in these tournaments to nurture their talent if they fail to get a chance in the cricket extarvaganza.
This year when every sport has got affected, expectedly local tournaments of Delhi were also put on hold. Goswami Gamesh Dutt and Om Nath Sood tournaments are postponed, leaving many young guns disappointed.
Speaking to Mail Today, VP Sareen — co-convener of Goswami Ganesh Dutt Memorial Cricket Tournament — said, “Since the situation in the country is not under control, our tournament committee has decided to postpone the tournament and will try to organise in the same year if things improve.
“Many International, IPL and Ranji Players like Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj, Rishabh Pant and many more participated in our tournament and many domestic cricketers like Lalit Yadav, Nitish Rana, Dhruv Shorey and knocked the doors of Delhi Ranji team after starring here.”
Om Nath Sood tournament convener Pramod Sood also expressed his disappointment while announcing its postponement.
“We used to hold it every year but this time COVID-19 has stalled everything. I just wish everything to sort out soon. We want everybody to be safe.
“Human life is very precious. I got calls from several kids who play in our tournament. They all are sad and we told them to not lose hope, the tournament will take place as and when this pandemic gets over,” he told the paper. “I had booked the ground in Pitampura but now just sitting at home and waiting for the next order from the government.”
Delhi’s young cricketer Varun Anand, who played in both the tournament, said he makes video of exercise at home and send it to his coach. “I am just following the coach’s (Akash Chouhan) advice and send him the video. Nothing major is happening right now. We can’t do practice at home. For a cricketer his age also plays important role. Wasting one year would be a big loss for all of us,” the 17-year-old cricketer said.
A freelance Delhi coach, Puru Singh said the lockdown is taking load on players’ mind.
“I speak to the kids and try to motivate them. Nothing much can be done but we doesn’t want our young boys and girls to feel sad.
“There will be consequences because of this long break from cricket, like players who are aged 19 will not be able to participate in Under-19 category next year. Their year got wasted,” he said.