The International Cricket Council (ICC) has issued comprehensive guidelines for resuming cricket around the world. These guidelines include a list of various do’s and don’ts for cricket at the international, domestic and community levels, so that, in the meantime, the highest safety protocol can also be maintained.
The ICC in its guidelines recommends 14-day pre-match isolation and appointment of Chief Medical Officer or Biosafety Officer in training camps to resume international cricket after the COVID-19 lockdown.
To resume training and competition, the Chief Medical Officer will have to follow the government regulations and check the Biosafety Scheme. The ICC has also recommended preparation of a suitable test plan during training and competition.
ICC NEW GUIDELINE LIST:
• The ICC has suggested teams to be careful with respect to bowlers workload to protect the bowlers spine from a serious injury such as a stress fracture, especially since the bowlers return to the game after a long period of time.
• The ICC recommends that bowlers will require a training period of at least 05 to 12 weeks to create the workload required for their best performance.
• ICC guidelines emphasize the age and physical preparedness of bowlers, as this will affect the time period and risk required to build the appropriate bowling ability for safe and effective return to international cricket.
• In order to compensate for the absence of net bowlers provided by the host country and to avoid injury to the first-choice bowlers, the ICC has advised teams to travel with a “big” player group.
• According to ICC suggestions, any bowler returning in the T20s will need at least 5-6 weeks of preparation to bowl in the final three weeks to suit the intensity of the match.
• In case of one-day matches, the recommended preparation period is at least 6 weeks, including bowling in the final three weeks depending on the intensity of the match.
• In the case of Test matches, the ICC recommends the longest preparation period of about 8–12 weeks, with the final 4-5 weeks devoted to bowling to suit the intensity of the match.
• The ICC has mentioned that this preparation period will depend on the physical activities that the bowler is capable of during lockdown such as running regularly and practicing bowling etc. It also depends on a number of evaluation factors including the bowler’s age, injury history, bowling technique and pace.
BAN ON USE OF SALIVA
The ICC Cricket Committee has recommended a ban on the use of saliva to shine a cricket ball to prevent the corona virus epidemic, as the virus is spread by saliva. The ICC panel led by Kumble recommended the implementation of this ban to reduce the risk of infection of COVID-19.
ICC guidelines are issued at a time when players are getting ready to start training again after spending about 10 weeks in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many international teams are ready to start the game again. On 21 May 2020, England became the first major country to begin training with 18 bowlers returning for personal training. England have about 7 weeks to prepare for the three-match Test series against the West Indies and the series is likely to begin on 8 July.
After the deadly outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, all cricket activities were stopped. Several major sports competitions scheduled for this year, including the Tokyo Olympics, have been postponed.
Although no decision has been taken yet about the upcoming T20 World Cup, if the corona virus crisis does not subside then this tournament could be in danger.
However, with sanctions relaxed in many countries, some countries including Australia and Sri Lanka have shown interest in hosting cricket tours, as all these boards are trying to overcome the economic impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.
In India, the Union Home Ministry has given permission to reopen sports complexes and stadiums.
However, strict measures have to be followed to maintain social distance and no spectators will be allowed inside the stadium. Therefore, even if cricket matches are played, viewers will probably not be allowed to watch these matches.