ICC issues guidelines for post-coronavirus period
Many countries are thinking of reviving cricket which has come to a standstill due to the outbreak of coronavirus. However, it cannot be done in a hurry. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has issued guidelines to member nations to return to the field safely.
The ICC’s medical advisory committee has drawn up the guidelines in consultation with representatives of the boards’ medical teams to ensure the safe return of community, domestic and international cricket, the world cricket governing body said in a press release on Friday.
According to the guideline, each board has to appoint one Chief Medical Officer or Bio Safety Officer. Whose job will be to ensure that the players are complying with the government-mandated hygiene rules in practice.
Member countries have been asked to consider an isolation camp at least 14 days before the visit. Where all the players’ temperature of the team will be measured and COVID-19 will be tested.
The concerned board has been asked to ensure safe practice ground and match venue for the players. Players must maintain a distance of one and a half meters at all times (or as directed by the government concerned). Players have been discouraged from taking baths and using dressing rooms during practice. They’re asked to come fully prepared for practice.
Necessary medical arrangements have to be made in each field during the match. The ICC’s cricket committee has already recommended a ban on the use of saliva. There are some new instructions about the ball. Players will not be able to give caps, towels, sweaters, etc. to the umpire between the two overs. The umpire must use gloves to catch the ball.
Celebrations on the ground have been discouraged. Unnecessary touches have been urged to be avoided. If someone shows signs of COVID-19 in a match, everyone should be tested and stay in isolation for a certain period of time.
There are strict instructions about the tour. First of all, the instructions of the concerned government must be followed. Second, the concerned board has to arrange for a chartered flight, maintaining social distance on the flight. The hotel will have to fix a specific floor for the teams.
The practice will start in four steps. Going from one step to another will depend on the government’s restrictions. The first step will be single stage practice. England which has already started for their bowlers.
The second step will be practice for two people and of course according to the social distance. In the third stage, there will be players and a coach in a slightly larger group (less than 10 people). And in the fourth step, the whole team will be able to practice together while maintaining social distance.
Bowlers will be more at risk of injury if they return to the field from outside for a long time. So according to the version a separate practice routine has been given for the bowlers. To get ready to return to Test cricket, you have to practice for 8 to 12 weeks, where you have to bowl at least 4-5 weeks with your whole body. In case of ODI, 6 weeks, for T20, 5 to 6 weeks of practice will be required. In both these cases, you have to bowl in the net for 3 weeks like in a match.
The ICC says that the practice of cricketers or the commencement of cricket activities will depend on the instructions of the concerned cricket board and the government of that country. The guidelines suggest how member nations can resume cricket without the risk of contracting the virus.