When the cricket resumes post-COVID 19, umpires will be wearing gloves to handle the ball while dressing room bears are set to remain on ice. To have the safe resumption of the sport, new guidelines have been issued by ICC after discussing with the medical governing body.
ICC’s cricket committee had already flagged likely law changes at the highest level, meaning that local umpires are to be used and players barred from using sweat or saliva on the ball to gain additional movement.
The ongoing Vincy T10 league is a prime example of that where the use of saliva and sweat has been restricted. Also, post-wicket huddles have also been restricted keeping social distancing in mind.
Players and officials will be told to maintain social distancing on the field, so bowlers won’t be handing over caps, sweaters, sunglasses, or any other items to the standing umpire keeping medical measures in mind.
Also, you will not see players passing any type of equipment like Helmet, Bats to other players during a match. The ICC document spells out that International players will be provided clear guidance on the safe management on the ball. These include not using saliva to shine the ball, “regular hand sanitizing when in contact with the ball” and guidelines to not touch the eyes, nose, and mouth after making contact with the ball.
“Umpires may also be encouraged to use gloves when handling the ball,” the ICC back-to-cricket guidelines note.
The COVID 19 document recommends considering a method to deal with potential mental health issues” and that domestic playing conditions are reviewed to minimize risks.
However, Cricket Australia has already issued the guidelines that players can and can’t do during a net session.
“People will make mistakes … there’s going to be a steep learning curve,” CA head of sports science Alex Kountouris said this week.