ICC issues guidelines to maintain social distance amid coronavirus

Dubai: Players will not be allowed to hand their caps, sunglasses, and sweaters to the umpire and will also have to maintain social distance on and off the field as per the International Cricket Council (ICC) guidelines for the resumption of cricket.

Players are getting ready to resume training after spending nearly 10 weeks in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The sport’s governing body stated that a training period between five to 12 weeks would be necessary for bowlers to get back on track.

On Friday, the ICC issued a comprehensive titled ‘Guidelines on return to cricket’ that encompasses international, domestic, and community cricket. ICC has listed some important dos when cricket resumes after being forced to stop due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Social distance at all times

“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,” the ICC said.

“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.” the ICC added.

The ICC emphasized that social distancing must be followed even during training where individuals will need to keep a distance of 1.5 meters or according to the country’s government. Players are required to come in training gears and to use change rooms rarely.

 

Body contact celebrations discouraged

The ICC also said that celebrations with body contact along with sharing drinks, towels, bottles, and equipment are likely the riskiest elements of contact the virus so it has been strongly discouraged.

 

No saliva should be applied on ball

The ICC once again repeated the recommendation of the ICC Cricket Committee that no saliva should be applied on the ball. Only sweat should be applied to shine the ball.

According to ICC, the ball is the potential medium of transmission of the virus. “Provide players with clear guidance on the safe management of the ball. This will include regular hand sanitizing when in contact with the ball; do not touch eyes, nose, and mouth after making contact with the ball; saliva should not be used on the ball.”

 

Match officials at “high risk”

Virus potentially affects those over 60 years old and are the most vulnerable to suffer. ICC pointed out match officials, umpire, referees, and sports staff.

“Participants, in particular umpires, match referees and support staff may be considered vulnerable individuals that are at higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. This includes older individuals (approx. 60+) and people of any age with underlying medical conditions,” the ICC said.

“Cricket is officiated by umpires on the field of play and their health and well-being needs to be taken into full consideration as they spend the greatest amount of time in close proximity to players,” it added.