Zimbabwe: Rajput Still Holed Up in India

CHEVRONS’ Indian coach, Lalchand Rajput, is likely to be holed up in his home country until next month as the Asian country battles to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Rajput has been trapped in India since the Governments across the world introduced travel bans in March as part of containment measures.

Although Zimbabwe Cricket are keen to have the coach back in Zimbabwe, to start work in preparation for the proposed tour by Afghanistan, developments in India point to extended lockdown measures following a surge in the Covid-19 cases.

Some Indian states have announced extension of lockdown measures until July 31. International flights were due to resume between July 3 and July 15, according to an official government document.

However, these are mainly repatriation flights with the Government aiming to help stranded nationals return home.

ZC acting managing director, Givemore Makoni, indicated to The Herald that Rajput may not return any time soon.

The team, which is currently in camp, will continue training in small groups under various national coaches.

“The arrival of the coach (Rajput) depends on the Government of India’s measures in containing the coronavirus.

“There has been a ban on international flights and I understand cases have been on the increase in India.

“But, once it improves, and international flights are allowed, then we can talk about the coach coming back to Zimbabwe.

“In terms of personnel, working with the team, we are not worried.

“We have coaches who have been working with the players since they began training and everything is moving smoothly,” said Makoni.

The Hindu newspaper reported that, as Unlock-2 began from July 1, India’s Covid-19 tally climbed to 585 493 with nearly 66 percent cases reported last month alone.

ZC announced they have mutually agreed to postponed the Chevrons tour to Australia, which was scheduled for next month.

“The Afghanistan series is still alive,” said Makoni. “There has been constant communication between the two cricket boards and we have actually been discussing the tour itinerary, taking into consideration the mandatory quarantine requirements.

“Our team has been training in small groups. We have players in Bulawayo, in Harare at Harare Sports Club and Takashinga and also in Mutare.

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