The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday has released new guidelines to be followed after cricketing actions resume in the world. These guidelines are safety measures to assist the cricketing family.
The pandemic COVID-19 has brought the whole world to a complete halt, cricket is no exception to this. The last international match played could be dated back to March. Every country is planning to bring in new suggestions and regulations to follow after the relaxations of lockdowns. The cricketing countries intend to resume the actions in the near future.
“ICC Back to Cricket Guidelines” is a document that provides guidelines for the safe restart of cricket at all levels. This document was developed by the ICC Medical Advisory Committee in dialogue with Member Medical Representatives. Out of the 5Ws and 1H, the document adheres to answering How the game can resume in a safe manner.
The countries, based on the relaxations are planning out the dates and fixtures of future games. Mostly, all matches will happen behind closed doors with no spectators. At this point, ICC has come up with major rules to guide these countries on a safety resumption of the game. It further advised its members to consider these guidelines as a basis to create their own policies and follow the local and governmental guidelines that certainly should be outweighed.
Under the heading key decision principles, The ICC mentioned that the wellbeing of the cricket community is its priority, and resumption of the activities could begin only if there is no perceived risk.
Under the subhead government advice, it mentioned that the cricket communities should be guided by government approvals. Also, government restrictions should be followed in terms of travel and isolation.
“Where sporting activities has been expressly forbidden by governments, no cricket activity should commence until approval to do so has been obtained from the government.”
As an awareness measure, ICC has given medical advice stating “Players at all levels should be made aware that the ICC is expected to ban the use of saliva on the ball in the very near future”.
The board has also indicated the need to educate the entire cricket community on strategies to mitigate against CV-19.
On-field protocols like no unnecessary body contact, no handing over items such as cap, a towel to teammates, or umpires are to be followed. Also, off-field measures like maintaining social distance and minimal use of communal facilities should be adopted.
The board has also advocated 14-day isolation training camps and appointment of CMO (Chief Medical Officers).
“Discourage sharing of all equipment where possible. If it is required ensure equipment is cleaned appropriately. If spectators are permitted, social distancing should be maintained.”
It has also specified a set of guidelines for bowlers keeping in mind that they have the highest risk of injuries after a long pause of cricket activity. The board has also suggested format-special training for each format requires unique ways of training.
For T20s, a minimum period of 5-6 weeks of training and for ODIs, 6 weeks of minimum preparation period with the last three weeks of match intensity practice is suggested. In the case of Tests, two months of preparation and the last 4-5 weeks of match intensity practice have been recommended by the board.
The guidelines are relevant for all levels of cricket and all participants. The document also stated that “supporting individuals to gain a sense of normalcy in their lives and carries with it important physical and mental health benefits”.
Though Cricket is a non-contact team sport and exposure to the pandemic may differ from full-contact team sports, ICC has come up with basic guidelines for the safety of the cricketing community and its fans.
The complete document is available on this page Complete Guidelines ICC