Team India’s tour of South Africa is set to be under the cosh due to the current coronavirus pandemic situation across the globe. The Men In Blue are scheduled to take on South Africa for in a three-match T20 series later in August this year.
So, what is Phase 2 and what does it mean moving forward? Let’s answer some questions you may have.
What does Phase 2 entail?
Under the league’s established safety protocols, Phase 2 of the NHL return-to-play plan allows players to return to team facilities for small group workouts. A maximum of six players are allowed to participate in on-ice workouts at one time, though all drills must be non-contact and no coaches or team personnel are allowed on the ice. Players can also use team weight rooms and exercise/rehab spaces. Additional safety measures include a mandate on wearing masks when not actively exercising inside the facilities, plus social distancing of six feet when players aren’t on the ice.
This phase is optional, so it’s up to individual players if they want to participate in these group workouts. Teams aren’t allowed to require players to return to the club’s home city, and facilities can only reopen in areas where local guidelines allow for it. If a player is isolating in an opposing club’s home city, they can use that team’s facilities if permitted. The league is requiring traveling players to abide by local government mandates, such as Canada’s mandatory 14-day isolation period for people arriving from abroad.
What about testing?
All players and staff will be tested 48 hours prior to returning to team facilities, and those test results will come back within 24 hours. Nobody will be permitted to enter the team facilities until they have a confirmed negative test. Additionally, the league is recommending that teams continue to test players at least twice weekly throughout Phase 2, if there are enough tests available without depriving local resources.
If there are not enough tests available in an area, teams will require players to isolate for a 14-day period before they’re permitted to enter the facility. All players and staff will also have to perform daily temperature and symptom checks at home before arriving to the facilities.
When will Phase 2 go into effect?
A specific date hasn’t been announced yet but the league hopes to enter the stage in early June.
“It has not yet been determined when precisely Phase 2 will start or how long it may last,” the NHL said in the memo. “We are continuing to monitor developments in each of the Club’s markets, and may adjust the overall timing if appropriate, following discussion with all relevant parties.”
What does this mean for the NHL’s return-to-play plans?
While Phase 2 may not seem like the biggest or sexiest news since teams won’t be able to fully return to practice, it’s a significant and necessary step toward a return. Many players haven’t been able to skate since early March when the league went into shutdown, so just being able to get back on the ice and work out is an important development.
What is Phase 3?
Phase 3 of the NHL’s return-to-play plan is expected to consist of a training camp that precedes the league’s official restart. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has said that a three-week training camp period will be necessary before the league returns to action, and players may need to quarantine for a few weeks before those camps get underway.
As for the timeline, the league was initially targeting a restart in early July but sources have told CBS Sports that mid-to-late July is now being viewed as the most optimistic scenario. If there’s a 3-5 week preparation window and meaningful games are to be played before August, the league would likely need to transition out of Phase 2 and into Phase 3 by mid-to-late June.
Under that proposal, the top 12 teams from each conference would qualify for the playoffs, with the top four teams from each conference getting a play-in bye (they would participate in a three-game round robin to stay fresh). The remaining eight teams from each conference would play a best-of-five series for the four remaining spots in a traditional 16-team bracket. From there, the NHL hopes to play a best-of-seven series the remainder of the way until a Stanley Cup champion is crowned.
“Will Usyk have the strength to handle heavyweights? He doesn’t have a big punch”
Last Updated: 25/05/20 8:12am
Murat Gassiev is “as big a puncher as the best heavyweights” and wants revenge on Oleksandr Usyk, says his trainer Abel Sanchez.
Gassiev was IBF and WBA cruiserweight champion but his thunderous run was ended in the World Boxing Super Series final by Usyk in 2018 – both boxers have now joined the heavyweight division.
Asked if Gassiev is better-suited to the bigger division, Sanchez told Sky Sports: “Absolutely. He was killing himself to make weight for cruiserweight. That’s not an excuse – Usyk was the better man on the night.
“We look forward to meeting Usyk at heavyweight.”
Russia’s Gassiev hasn’t fought in two years but is still just 27 years old.
“I first started working with him when he was nearly 20 years old,” Sanchez explained. “He was 192lbs back then.
“I saw his frame and his hands – he has tremendously big hands. I said: ‘This young man will dominate the cruiserweight ranks then become a very good heavyweight’.
“It took a little longer to get to the heavyweights, but he will be good. I anticipated this when I first started working with him. His hands told me everything.
“He is as big a puncher as the best heavyweights.
“Like Evander Holyfield he has the speed of a cruiserweight. His speed and quickness will be the difference against heavyweights, the same as Oleksandr Usyk.
“But will Usyk have the strength to handle heavyweights? He doesn’t have a big punch. In the heavyweight division you need to have something that keeps people back.”
Sanchez said about Gassiev’s return: “I would like to fight Adam Kownacki, Robert Helenius or Andy Ruiz Jr. But he hasn’t fought in two years so I would like a tune-up fight first.”
Usyk won his heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon and will next take on Derek Chisora. The former undisputed cruiserweight champion is the mandatory challenger to Anthony Joshua’s WBO heavyweight title.
Sri Lankan police have detained international cricketer Shehan Madushanka on a charge of possessing heroin, officials said Monday.
Madushanka, 25, who took a hat-trick of wickets on his international debut in 2018, was remanded in custody for two weeks by a magistrate.
He was carrying just over two grams of heroin when detained in the town of Pannala on Sunday, a police official said.
Madushanka was stopped while driving with another person in a car during a nationwide coronavirus curfew, police said.
The right-arm pace bowler took a hat-trick against Bangladesh on his one-day international debut in January 2018. He also played two T20 matches against Bangladesh in 2018, but has not played an international since due to injuries.
Sri Lanka is due to relax its curfew from Tuesday, but police have arrested nearly 65,000 people for breaking the restrictions imposed on March 20.