ICC issues comprehensive guidelines for resumption of cricket
The ICC has advised teams to travel with "larger" squads to compensate for the absence of net bowlers provided by the host country.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has issued a set of comprehensive guidelines for the resumption of cricket across the world. The guidelines include a list of various dos and don'ts for cricket at the international, domestic and community level, while at the same time ensuring maintenance of the highest safety protocols.
The ICC has recommended the appointment of Chief Medical Officer or Biosafety Official and a 14-day pre-match isolation in training camps in its guidelines for the resumption of international cricket post-COVID-19 lockdown.
The Chief Medical Officer will have to overlook the implemetation of the government regulations and the biosafety plan to enable the resumption of training and competition. The ICC has also recommended developing an appropriate testing plan during training and competition.
ICC Guidelines for resumption of cricket: Full List
• The ICC has suggested teams to exercise caution over bowlers' workloads to avoid a serious injury like a stress fracture of the spine, as bowlers are particularly at high risk of injury after returning to play after a period of enforced time-out.
• The ICC has recommended bowlers would need minimum training periods ranging from 5-12 weeks to build the workload necessary for peak performance.
• The ICC guidelines lay emphasis on the age and physical preparedness of the bowlers, as it will influence the risk and length of time required to develop appropriate bowling loads to enable safe and effective return to international cricket.
• The ICC has advised teams to travel with "larger" squads to compensate for the absence of net bowlers provided by the host country and to offset any injuries to the first-choice bowlers.
• According to ICC's suggestions, a bowler returning to T20Is will need at least 5-6 weeks of preparation with bowling at match intensity in the last three weeks.
• In the case of ODIs, the recommended preparation period is a minimum of six weeks with the last three weeks involving bowling at match intensity.
• In the case of tests, the ICC has recommended the longest preparation period of about 8-12 weeks with the final 4-5 of those devoted to bowling at match intensity.
• The ICC noted that the preparation period will depend on the physical activities that the bowler has been able to undertake during the lockdown such as regular running and bowling drills. It also depends on multiple assessment factors including the age of the bowler, injury history, bowling technique and speed.
ICC recommends ban on use of saliva
ICC cricket committee has recommended to ban use of saliva to shine the cricket ball as a temporary measure amid coronavirus pandemic, which spread through saliva. The ICC panel led by Kumble had recommended the ban to minimise the risk of infection.
The ICC guidelines come as players get ready to resume training after nearly 10 weeks in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Several International teams are set to return to play. England on May 21, 2020 became the first major nation to restart training with 18 bowlers returning to individual training. England has around seven weeks to prepare for the three-Test series against West Indies, which is likely to start from July 8.
All cricket activities were suspended following the deadly outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic across the world. Many major sports competitions, scheduled for this year have been postponed including the Tokyo Olympics. Though no decision has yet been taken regarding the upcoming T20 World Cup, the tournament could be under threat if the coronavirus crisis refuses to scale down.
However, with the easing of restrictions in several countries, some countries have shown interest in hosting cricket tours including Australia and Sri Lanka, as all boards are trying to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In India, the Union Home Ministry has allowed the re-opening of sports complexes and stadiums. However strict social distancing measures will have to be followed and no spectators will be allowed inside the stadiums. So, if cricket does get a go-ahead, live audience may not be allowed.