In light of the recent situation, Covid-19 has not only stopped cricket, but also forced the maestros from ICC to come up with new guidelines for resuming the game in future.
The International Cricket Council has issued some comprehensive and carefully curated guidelines aiming at resuming cricket at all levels – community, domestic, and international. These vary from country to country as the respective governments decide to relax impositions due to the spread of the pandemic.
One of the important aspect among the finely-detailed guidelines is having the presence of chief medical or bio-safety officer to ensure all the respective government guidelines are followed. The apex body has also asked for regular temperature checks, Covid-19 testing for 14 days prior to travel, sanitisation of every player’s kit bag and towels, and pre-match isolation camps.
Little nuances have also been kept in mind, such as – no players shall share a common showers or changing rooms, a 1.5 millimetres distance is a must, no saliva must be used to shine the ball, the umpires must wear gloves while passing the balls, and so forth.
To return to training, the process is divided in four brief stages:
Stage One: Individual skill-based training, which England have already begun for their bowlers
Stage Two: The practice should kick-in in small groups, i.e., less than three people while adhering the social distancing norms
Stage Three: This stage allows a considerably bigger group (less than 10) and a coach for training
Stage Four: This stage allows a breather of squad-based training, provided the safe distance is maintained from one another
Guidelines for bowlers
Considering they’re at high risk of injury, the cricket board has issued specific guidelines for the bowlers. As per the proposals, the board has suggested to allow for a minimum of five to six weeks of training, with last three weeks including match intensity training in order to facilitate the player to return to T20.
However, for ODIs, the minimum preparation period is six weeks with a similar match intensity program (three weeks). And when it comes to Test matches, the training period allocated is two to three months with the last four to five weeks being match intensity bowling at full tilt.
No on-field celebrations
As we speak of intricacies being taken care of, no on-field celebrations will be allowed like before as it could result in players coming in close contact with each other. The board has also laid rules saying if any player shows any symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus, then every participant must undergo tests and a period in isolation as they must’ve been in the close proximity of the infected player.
ICC is also working on developing guidelines for the support staff. It acknowledged the fact that they would need extra care as the support staff majorly observes a majority of old-age people, mostly above 60. These are the group of individuals that are likely to be diagnosed with other medical conditions like diabetes, cardiac issues, weak innate immunity, etc.
With the word coming to a standstill, we need to learn how to live with this unresolved and complicated situation. All the rules and regulations of the Covid-19 guidelines issued by ICC will be applicable differently depending on the geographical seriousness of the pandemic.
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