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ICC publishes guidelines for safe resumption of cricket
Cricket Resumption

ICC publishes guidelines for safe resumption of cricket

The ICC has issued a detailed set of guidelines ranging from the appointment of chief medical officers to social distancing measures in the field as part of their recommendations to ensure the safe return of international cricket amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The apex cricket body has addressed several issues in the comprehensive document titled 'Back to cricket guidelines' that encompass the sport played at the community, domestic and international levels.

As member nations consider easing restrictions, the possibility of competitive cricket returning soon has increased, necessitating the formulation of safety protocols.

"Consider appointing a Chief Medical Officer and/or Biosafety Official who will be responsible for implementing government regulations and the biosafety plan to resume training and competition," the ICC said in one of their suggestions.

They have also reiterated the importance of quarantining squads and taking regular temperature checks before any fixture.

"Consider the need for a pre-match isolation training camp with health, temperature checks and CV-19 testing - e.g. at least 14 days prior to travel to ensure the team is CV-19 free."

Match officials have been asked to maintain minimum contact with players, thus they have been urged to wear gloves while handling the ball.

"Players and umpires should maintain social distancing on the cricket field and that includes no handing over of player items (cap, towels, sunglasses, jumpers) to the umpire or teammates."

"Consider adopting a process that will assist the bowler in managing his/her items. Umpires may also be encouraged to use gloves when handling the ball."

Interestingly, the ICC is also not in favour of on-field celebrations where players are often observed to be handing out 'high-fives' to each other.

"On-field behaviour that includes celebrations with body contact, and shared use of drink bottles, towels and equipment can pose a risk in cricket and should be strongly discouraged," the media release stated.

Moreover, the ICC has requested cricket boards to mull over larger squads in order to reduce workloads of players in light of the condensed international calendar.

In an effort to cover up for the postponed encounters over the last couple of months, boards will be rushing to carrying out matches in a limited time period, requiring the services of a higher number of players.

In this scenario, the ICC feels bowlers are at a higher risk of contracting injury due to the increased workload and that they must be given a suitable plan to reach desired levels of fitness.

"With the likelihood of a return to international cricket potentially resulting in a condensed schedule it will be necessary for countries to utilise larger squads to safely meet the performance demands imposed."

"Bowlers are at a particularly high risk of injury on return to play after a period of enforced time-out.

"When looking at timescales, consideration needs to be given to the age and physical preparedness as this will influence the risk and length of time required to develop appropriate bowling loads that will allow a safe and effective return to international cricket."